SF State gators float into Pride parade

This year SF State will once again be joining one of the country’s largest LGBTQ celebrations at the San Francisco Pride parade June 30 — and this time with a float.

“The Pride parade is an extraordinary opportunity for the University to show our support for and pride in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” SF State President Leslie E. Wong said. “It is also a way that we can convey to our students, faculty, staff — and our extended community of parents and alumni — that we continue to take great pride in our diversity and in the achievements of our community members who are also a part of the LGBT community.”

Recently SF State’s LGBTQ community has had an increasing presence on campus with the grand opening of the Queer Resource Center, the third annual Pride Prom, SF State’s first Lavender Graduation, as well as their second year in San Francisco’s Pride parade. Last year a group of SF State students walked in the parade. This year the University will be represented with a float.

Ten SF State students joined Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell at the initial meeting May 15 to discuss the University’s involvement at this year’s festivities. Some ideas for the float included creating a balloon float of the University mascot and a student disc jockey.

“Students are interested in creating a SF State float for the Pride parade,” Greenwell said. “Students have shown interest in continuing and growing our participation in this year’s festivities.”

The Facebook event currently has 65 guests attending and organizers said they hope those numbers will increase.

Creating the float will include potential collaborations with various groups on campus, according to Greenwell.

Heather Russell, a design and industry major who also works with Associated Students, Inc.’s Educational and Referral Organization of Sexuality, hopes to get her organization involved with Pride this year.

“I have a feeling last year (since it was the first year) was not as great as they had hoped and they wanted to do something bigger and better,” Russell said.

Russell attended a Pride parade in the past, but this is the first year she will be participating with SF State.

“My only concerns (in creating the float) are having enough people to help, and having a plan that we can realistically accomplish. We have some great hands on deck so I’m sure it will turn out great,” Russell said.

Alumni and community members will be joining President Leslie E. Wong and SF State in the parade June 30.

“I look forward to participating in the parade and to celebrating the best of what our city and our University represent,” Wong said.

A second meeting to discus SF State’s plans has not yet been confirmed.