2nd Annual Pride Week 🌈

If you were at Edge Hill University last week, you might have noticed that it was Pride week. How would you have known, you ask? Why the main building being lit up in true rainbow fashion, of course! A great show of solidarity from the university, and with their continued support of all gender toilets and inclusivity it’s not without merit.

Last year was the first ever Pride week at Edge Hill University, before that, the LGBT+ students had usually headed over to Preston for their annual Pride event, lacking anything closer to home. This year saw the return of the pronoun workshop on Monday, a short educational event on how to ask someone’s pronouns and pronouns outside the binary of him/her. Also on Monday was the Student Union Bar quiz, featuring a bonus pride round.

Tuesday was a day for sports and societies to show their support for the LGBT community, with the Pride in Sport and Societies workshop on in the afternoon just before the BUCS sports teams signed the 2018 Pride Pledge, at the Team Edge Hill Forum. The BUCS teams all wore rainbow laces during their Wednesday games, making a visual statement of support to go alongside their signings the day before. Pride Social also saw a return in 2018 on Wednesday evening at Venue, with confetti cannons and rainbow face paint to boot.

On Thursday evening in the Hub, banners were made alongside the film, Pride, being played upstairs – right by the flags hanging proudly from the bridge to the SU Offices. This was of course in preparation for the Pride March that occurred on Friday at midday. Also on Friday, starting at 7pm, was the SU Drag Race, being presented and judged by Manchester’s own, Miss Blair.

Fear not if you missed the events of Pride Week, for, on March 15th, Venue is hosting “Milk”, the North West’s NEWEST LGBT+ Clubnight that promises drag acts and stilt walkers. Open not just to students but to all members of the LGBT+ community and friends.

Pride Week 2018!

Hey all, I hope you’re doing well!

Two weeks ago today, the Edge Hill Student’s Union started their annual celebration of the LGBTQ community- Pride Week! They organise events for both people within the community and allies, and also raise awareness of certain things surrounding the community. As it was such a fantastic week, I thought I’d tell you what was happening so you can get an idea of what opportunities there are!

Monday 5th

  • Pronouns Workshop (5pm)- a workshop to raise awareness of how pronouns are used and how to approach the topic
  • SU Pub Quiz (7pm onwards)- there is a pub quiz in the SU every monday, however, this week they included some Pride rounds!

Tuesday 6th

  • Pride in Sport and Societies Workshop (4:30pm)
  • Team Edge Hill Forum (5pm)- the BUCS sports teams signed the 2018 Pride Pledge during the forum

Wednesday 7th

  • BUCS games- the teams wore rainbow laces for their games today!
  • Pride Social (9pm)- the SU bar’s social event, but in honour of Pride week!

Thursday 8th

  • Banner Making and Film Night (7pm onwards)- in the Hub, people were invited to make banners for the Pride March the next day and they screened the film PRIDE for those who wanted to watch

Friday 9th

  • Pride March (12pm)- students and staff were invited to take part in a march for Pride week
  • SU Drag Race (7pm onwards)- the SU held its very first Drag Race inspired by Ru Paul’s Drag Race! The Drag Race was presented by two of the SU representatives, Ben and Luke, the judges were students and teachers at Edge Hill, and all the performers were students of Edge Hill! £1 of every ticket was also donated to Stonewall
The contestants, judges and presenters of the SU Drag Race! (P.S. I’m the one in the purple wig!!!)

So that’s a general overview of the events! The University was decorated with rainbows galore, and the front building was even lit up in the Pride flag for the week!

Overall, it was a fantastic and fun-filled week, and I’m really looking forward to next year’s!

Events Across The Year

Open Days

Edge Hill University hosts many events throughout the year, the one you’ve most likely been to already is the Open Day, which I couldn’t recommend enough. Once you start studying at EHU, you might think that these would get annoying or get in the way of you just trying to live your life on campus – but I’ve found that they really don’t! If anything, they provide you with some unique opportunities (as well as free ice cream)! If you live on campus, there’s the option to open your room/corridor to visitors so that they can have a glance at what future accommodation they might be living in – this is a paid role, and you have to be present the whole time this is going on, so I would recommend it if you need a little extra cash. Students are also vital in making sure the open day runs smoothly, directing prospective students around and supplying information when needed – again, a paid causal role.

Careers Fairs

Many fairs are held at EHU, one type being the careers fair. They can be general or course-specific (ie. nursing), volunteer-focused, or aimed at future graduates. These are held by the Career’s Centre throughout the year, but some usually coincide with specific times like #NationalCareersWeek.

Fresher’s and Re-Fresher’s Fair

An iconic event, Fresher’s Fair is your introduction to the societies and sports clubs at EHU, but lesser known is Re-Freshers Fair… which is exactly what you’d expect – Fresher’s Fair 2.0. It is a useful event though – personally I signed up for far too many societies and clubs during my first fresher’s week that I couldn’t commit to; Re-Fresher’s allowed me to revisit and reassess which societies and clubs I wanted to be a part of, signing up for some new ones in the process.

Feel Good Festival

An event that took place on #UniMentalHealthDay was the Feel Good Festival (again, an event that you may have the opportunity to work during if you are keen). This was a wonderful day that featured a bouncy castle, a petting zoo, and many other activities. In the same week, the SU also had guide dogs in the QUAD as part of the StressedOutStudents campaign.

Pride Week

The very first Pride occurred at EHU this year! A week-long event, featuring different activities on each day aimed at celebrating and educating. I wrote a whole post dedicated to the week, here.

Chinese New Year

The Confucius Institute at EHU put on a street market in The Hub (including Chinese music, traditional Chinese dress and calligraphy lessons) as well as stalls in The Arts Centre and a show that included Chinese kung fu and martial arts demonstrations, folk dances and musical performances using traditional Chinese instruments.

International Women’s Day

From Edge Hill’s beginnings as England’s first women’s teacher training college to this year’s partnership with Liverpool Geek Girls, EHU celebrated International Women’s day around campus. #BeBoldForChange

Of course, this is just touching the surface! There are many more events held at Edge Hill over the year, big and small. Just keep your eyes on EHU’s social media and you’ll be in the know. Oh, and one final tip – don’t do your laundry on an Open Day, carrying your clothes through a few crowds across campus is not fun!

Our First Pride Week! 🌈

As you may or may not have known, last week was Edge Hill’s first ever Pride week! I mentioned this last Wednesday on my previous post, but since then, the whole week has been and gone. The LGBT officer of the Edge Hill Student’s Union, Molly Houghton, has done a great job sorting out Pride week, and the SU have backed it up.

The rainbow on the Pride flag has a lot of symbolism behind it – each colour stripe has a different meaning. Each weekday was attributed a different colour, with Friday taking both indigo and violet.

Monday was Red, representing Life. To start off the week, the Bye Bye Bi-Erasure stall was run in the Hub to reduce the stigma surrounding bisexuality – which has long been subject to erasure and myths that bisexual people are “just greedy.” The stall featured a board dealing with what bi-erasure is, and a little game that asked you to guess famous celebrities sexualities, revealing that many who people assume are gay or straight are bisexual! (For example, Freddie Mercury, Drew Barrymore, Billie Joe Armstrong).

Tuesday was Orange, representing Healing. Another stall in the Hub was run, for LGBT+ Mental Health. As well as a Pronoun Workshop, run by the LGBT+ Society itself. The Mental Health Stall had a fun game to test your flag knowledge, to test if you know the most common LGBT+ flags and what gender identity/sexuality they represent (these were also the flags hanging from the stairs by the Student’s Union in the Hub). It also had a fact/myth board full of statements regarding mental health in LGBT+ individuals.  Later that day, in the lecture theatre in the tech hub, the LGBT+ Society ran a pronoun workshop that explained the relationship between gender and pronouns. The most common of which being he, she, and they.

Yellow was attributed to Wednesday, to represent Sunlight. On this day, Molly hosted sunflower planting outside the Hub! Anyone could come along and test out their green-fingers and try out some therapeutic gardening. Of course Wednesday is also the night of Social, which the SU made Pride-themed also.

On Thursday, the theme was Nature – owing itself to the colour Green. On the evening of this day, a sexual health workshop was run by Action For Trans Health. This workshop was run by trans people themselves, and really provided some key knowledge that isn’t taught in standard Sex Ed.

As mentioned earlier, Friday was host to two colours, indigo and violet – meaning it hosted the themes of Harmony and Spirit. This day hosted the first ever Pride March! A sense of solidarity was had by all as we marched with flags and chants around the university campus, finishing at the SU Bar, where some of us stayed for food and drinks. Later on that evening, Free Film Friday also presented a film relevant to the LGBT+ community – Rent. Although I had seen the recorded stage production before, I had never seen the film version, and it is both a heart-wrenching and heart-warming experience. Overall, the week was a successful first time for the university, and I hope to see the week expanding and improving as time goes by.