Reopening party to celebrate pride and its allies

By: Serena Chommany

The Spectrum, a space for 2SLGBTQA* students to gather safely, is reopening in room FM66 at the Notre Dame Campus on Nov. 22-26. The Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) is planning a soft opening to celebrate the event. 

Selina Anderson, operations coordinator for the RRCSA, oversees the room and wants students to use the space and feel welcomed and accepted when they enter.

“[At The Spectrum] the community is open, inviting, inclusive, and nurturing,” said Anderson. “It’s important that in a safe space like this, anyone who enters here is safe and feels safe.” 

All students are welcome to attend this event and celebrate the 2SLGBTQA* community.

The 2019 reopening of The Spectrum at Notre Dame Campus at RRC Polytech
The 2019 opening ceremony of The Spectrum./STEVE NACHTIGALL

Anderson said The Spectrum is not a well-known space right now, but she is hoping the soft opening will bring awareness and attention to the room.

“We’re hoping that the soft opening will let more students know that this space will always be here for [the 2SLGBTQA* community],” said Anderson.

Austin Armstrong, a Data Science and Machine Learning student, said despite not knowing about The Spectrum, he recognizes its importance at the college. 

“I’m glad that students at [RRC Polytech] have a safe space where they can go relax and feel included,” said Armstrong. “I will definitely tell my classmates and friends about [this space].”

Each day of the event, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. the RRCSA will be providing free tote bags filled with swag, treats, and handouts relating to pride and the RRCSA. 

The Spectrum first opened in 2019, when the RRCSA and student board members recognized that none of the RRC Polytech campuses had a designated safe space for members of the 2SLGBTQIA* community and their allies.

The space is also designed to be a resource centre that provides pamphlets with internal and external support information relating to the 2SLGBTQA* community.

The Spectrum room includes a TV, microwave, and kettle.

When COVID-19 restrictions loosen, The Spectrum will provide students with books, colouring, board games, and card games, in addition to hosting events.

“Be kind to others and help us create an atmosphere of safety and acceptance in The Spectrum,” said Anderson.

Students can find more information about The Spectrum on the RRCSA website.