The upcoming annual “Rainbow Graduation” offers graduating LGBTQ students and queer studies minors an opportunity to participate in an intimate ceremony to honor their achievements at CSUN.
“The purpose of Rainbow Graduation Celebration is really to celebrate the achievements of our students who are graduating, so that’d be whether they are LGBTQ students, queer studies minors or other allies to the community,” said Sarina Loeb, coordinator of the Pride Center and LGBTQ initiatives.
In previous years, roughly 25 graduating seniors and approximately 100 people attended and participated in the event. Yet more participants and attendees are expected this year due to the larger graduating class, Loeb said.
During the Rainbow Graduation Celebration, graduating seniors will receive a certificate of attendance and a special rainbow sash. The event will feature uplifting and inspirational talks by speakers, free food and drinks and the announcement of scholarship winners.
Michael Prince, Japanese major and graduating senior, will attend the event and plans to invite friends who are also CSUN students.
“I think it’s going to be a fun event,” Prince said. “I don’t like the idea of regular graduation because it’s so big and feels impersonal. I like Rainbow grad because I think it’s much more personal, this is a smaller group and I know a lot of these people, so it feels more like graduating together and we did this thing together.”
Rainbow Graduation Celebration is primarily for honoring graduating seniors of LGBTQ students and queer minors, but anyone who would like to join the event is more than welcome to attend, said Loeb.
“Really it’s about bonding the community and celebrating together, so that’s what it’s about and be able to celebrate amongst loved ones,” Loeb said. “So whether that’s our biological families or chosen families, [they will] be able to celebrate.”
The Pride Center and queer studies program will host their annual graduation event, Spring 2016 Rainbow Graduation Celebration May 19 at 1 p.m. in the Grand Salon at the University Student Union.
The event is free for all the participants, but online registration is necessary. The deadline is May 13.