ASI shows pride with OUTober flag raising ceremony

Jennifer Fain, Copy Editor

The sun shone brightly on the CSUB campus as students and faculty gathered to see the pride flag raised in the Admin Quad. The flag-raising event kicked off CSUB’s OUTober pride month.

The event opened with a speech from Ignasio Castillo, who is double majoring in political science and criminal justice in his senior year. Castillo spoke about what it means to have representation on campus, “With this flag being raised today, we want all of our LGBTQIA+ friends and colleagues to know that we at ASI hear you, we see you, and are here for you.” The event was organized by Castillo, the Vice President of ASI.

When speaking with Castillo, he mentions what it was like to plan this event, “It was really amazing! I think last year we really wanted to do this because we really saw a need of action.” Watching the CSUB community show up to share this moment was an amazing sight. Castillo also spoke of the number of people in attendance, “I really think the turnout was much greater this year.”

The show of support lends to the fact that CSUB is a welcoming space where all are made to feel safe. Hopefully, the turnout will continue to grow each year.

Student Loe Eoff, a junior studying human biology, spoke of what brought them out this year, “I heard about it last year, but I didn’t go. I made sure to attend and dress up this year.” When asked what they thought of the event, they said, “It’s amazing to show the school stands alongside the LGBTQ+ students.”

CSUB president Lynnette Zelezny holds miniature pride flag at ASI’s flag raising ceremony on Oct. 5, 2022. Photo by Vada Hepner / The Runner

Guest speaker President Zelezny spoke of CSUB’s support, “Today we are here to proclaim our unity at California State University, Bakersfield, and we raise our rainbow flag, and those beautiful colors fly high above our campus, we’re sending a clear message to our entire community… every voice matters at CSUB.” Seeing the show of support from the university at this kick-off event was uplifting.

You could feel the joy when walking around the campus after the event was over. Rainbow flags were passed out at the event, and I spotted them throughout the campus for the rest of the day. However, there is no need to wait for OUTober or any other special reason to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.

Castillo made an important point in his speech, “Let us remember that not just in this month, but in every month of the year, we uplift and raise the voices of our LGBT community members and provide nurturing support in whichever stage they are in their journey.”

The event was filled with bright colors, good food (courtesy of Moo Creamery), and inspirational speeches. It was a great start to OUTober.