Supportive. Empowering. Inclusive. When sitting down with Springfield College senior Katie Patrick, the creator of Ally Day, those were three words she used to describe the important campus-wide event. Ally Day has become a new Springfield College tradition that gives the entire community the opportunity to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. For two years, the Pride Alliance has sponsored Ally Day with hopes to raise LGBT awareness and promote fair treatment for everyone on campus.
“It really started off as a little concept and has turned into something much bigger,” said Patrick.
Since its creation in 2011, Ally Day has gone from distributing 250 T-shirts to over 400. She notes that each year the event has grown exponentially larger, and has resulted in alumni interest and involvement. Walking around campus, she states that she has seen a change for the better when it comes to acceptance and equality.
This year, the organization distributed over 50 T-shirts alone on its first day without any form of advertising. The Pride Alliance can be seen collaborating with other organizations such as SAVE’s Day of Silence and other events that promote social justice and respect as well.
“Any program that impacts the campus culture in a positive way is something that we want to be a part of,” Patrick said.
In the future, she hopes that the Pride Alliance and the event continue to grow and help empower people. For now, she is overwhelmed with happiness about how much the event has grown since the foundation was laid for the day of awareness. She described that whenever the message is put out there, improvement is made because more people are taking notice, whether they choose to be involved or not.
“Anytime you have something that goes from 200 students involved to 400 is something to be proud of,” said Patrick.
Leading up to the event the Pride Alliance will be distributing T-shirts on the Union stage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. until October 9. Ally Day will be recognized on October 10, where anyone who wishes to contribute can wear the shirt stating, “I am proud to be an Ally.”
Later that evening, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., there will be a discussion in the Union Bistro for all who wish to participate to reflect on the day. A T-shirt can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.