Queerientation 2006

Good turnout expected for alternative frosh week, says David Condren, EQuIP co-ordinator

Pride flags drape over a van before the start of last year’s Kingston Pride Parade.
Pride flags drape over a van before the start of last year’s Kingston Pride Parade.

There is an alternative for queer and queer friendly frosh who aren’t looking forward to Orientation. Queerientation, which is organized by EQuIP (Education on Queer Issues Project), is an annual event for the queer and queer positive members of the Queen’s and Kingston area. EQuIP is run by the AMS Social Issues Commission.

David Condren ArtsSci ’07 and co-chair of EQuIP for the upcoming school year, said he’s eager to see a good turnout at the various events taking place.

“Absolutely everyone is welcome at Queerientation,” Condren said. Although the activities are aimed at queer and queer positive students, Condren said straight allies can show their support by joining in the festivities.

The events are still being planned, said Tim Kraumanis, Condren’s co-chair. So far, Kraumanis is organizing a queer sex talk with the Sexual Health Resource Centre, a coffee house, a concert at the Grad Club and a night out at Kingston’s queer bar, Shay Foo Foo’s, among other activities.

The goal of these events is twofold, Kraumanis said.

“Firstly, raise awareness of EQuIP,” he said. “We want first-years to know who we are, where they can find us and what our mission is.”

The events also help to accomplish EQuIP’s mission of providing a safe and positive space for queer students at Queen’s.

“Many first-year students come from [places] with extremely homophobic or heterosexist atmospheres and cultures,” said Condren. “The opportunity to simply interact with like-minded individuals is invaluable.”

Queerientation at Queen’s is 11 years old. It was first organized by EQuIP’s predecessor, the Kingston Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Organization.

Although Condren was too shy to attend Queerientation events when he was a frosh, he fondly remembers attending them when he was in second and third year.

“The organizers of Queerientation events have made [a strong] effort to ensure that everyone feels safe and welcome, [perhaps more] than any other frosh events on campus,” Condren said, who added that he met most of his friends through Queerientation events.

This year’s events start one week after Frosh Week, and will continue throughout September and October. Some of the events are restricted to students 19 or older.

EQuIP run out of the Grey House on Bader Lane, and welcomes new members. For more information on EQuIP and its events, visit their website at clubs.myams.org/equip.

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