The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Pride flags installed at art houses as ‘visual show of allyship’

Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
Meredith Forman ’24 hopes that the addition of pride flags on the arts houses will spur more LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

If you walk down Parsons Street, you’ll see several pride flags billowing in the wind. This initiative is the work of Meredith Forman ’24 in an attempt to create a street-wide safe space.

“I was like, ‘this is such an easy way of showing … a visual show of allyship,’” Forman said. “If there’s a safe space on campus, it should be [the] Arts Society. I feel like the arts are just generally historically welcoming to all people.”

Forman wanted to take action after she read that Lafayette College was labeled the most homophobic campus by The Princeton Review in the 1990s.

“The goal is that the whole campus feels like a safe space for students, for queer students,” Forman said. “All of the accepted students that are coming and potential students [can] see these pride flags on the street.”

After getting faculty approval, Forman immediately ordered pride flags for Facilities Operations to install. The rainbow colors of support are now visible at all the arts houses. Though these flags hang off-campus, Forman wants pride flags to be installed on-campus as well, in addition to those already displayed at Lavender Lane and in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center.

“We want this campus to be as accepting as possible, and just having that visual will hopefully make students feel more comfortable,” Forman said. 

Fellow arts housing members echoed Forman’s sentiments on actively supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

“You have OUT doing things, and we have our Resource Center doing things, but as a campus, [we should] just really make it clear that we’re a supportive campus,” Cormac Hurley ‘24 said.

“Anywhere that there’s an American flag, I feel like there should be a pride flag … to show that the community is more inclusive,” Cia Negron ‘23 said. “I think that off-campus houses should have the option or Greek Life houses should have the option to opt in and put pride flags up just so people know that there’s safe spaces that they can go to.”

In the future, Forman wants to install more pride flags around off-campus housing while figuring out how the Arts Society can be even more inclusive.

“There’s, I think, five or six houses on the rest of the street that aren’t arts housing. I’m going to try and go around [and] gauge interest to see if they would be willing to also put up pride flags and then Monroe Street next,” Forman said.

However, Forman and other Arts Society members hope that Lafayette can further promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity by going above and beyond just hanging pride flags in arts housing. A new requirement was recently put in place for all arts housing members to be Safe Zone trained.

“I think that continuing initiatives similar to Safe Zone training where we continue to educate ourselves and elevate the voices of the students that are a part of the LGBTQ community is really important,” arts housing resident Alex Thurtle ‘24 said. “We can use that sliver of power the school gives us to go beyond the bare minimum.”

“It doesn’t take any time [to] talk to your boards, talk to your clubs about what you can do to make this campus more accepting,” Forman said.  “You can only do good, and when you’re in positions of power, you really need to be the ones to step up and do something about it.”

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About the Contributors
Kristen Vincent
Kristen Vincent, Assistant Culture Editor

Kristen Vincent ‘26 is an English Major and a Government and Law Minor. Aside from writing and editing for the newspaper, she is an EXCEL scholar, Writing Associate, LEO, and Secretary of the English Club. When she is not critiquing the latest biopic about a musician with a legendary past, she can be found working on her latest poem or rustling through the bargain bin at your local record store.

Emma Sylvester
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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