By: Yessenia Camano
The smell of pastries filled the halls as the doors leading to the Academic Hall of PCCC continuously opened and closed, leading a nose trail to the Broadway lobby. On February 14th, the LGBTQ + Allies (LGBTQA) club of PCCC sponsored a fundraiser bake sale in the Broadway entrance to deliver sweets to fellow Panthers, while raising money for their association.
The bake sale seemed a total success as there were many students and staff gathered around, socializing while enjoying a treat. The event lasted between 12 pm and 2 pm, a very convenient time for students rushing to class and in need of a snack.
Given the opportunity to get some insight into the event, I interviewed Vice President of the club, Ashley Olazabal, 19, Psychology Major, among other club members representing the LGBTQ + Allies club.
Olabazal said, “Sweets hold the ability to change everyone’s mood even by just the aroma. They trigger memories, and especially on the lovely day of Valentine’s Day.” Of course, the organization had intentions just bringing smiles into people’s faces; they had a mission.
“We’re trying to raise funds for upcoming events like pride prom this semester. If we have the funds, we can really go all out on presentation and work on our initiatives as well.” explained Olazabal.
Olazabal knew she wanted to expand her views of the LGBTQ community. So, when she was introduced to the association, she planted the seed and joined the club, hoping to expand the views of her pupils in bringing equality.
“I initially started as a member and really wanted to be a part of this club. I know its missions and really wanted to help make a change in this campus. I felt like it was an important thing to be a part of,” Olabazal recalled.
As a welcoming member of the club, Olazabal found the LGBTQ + Allies club to be her safe zone from any prejudice. “To me LGBTQ represents unity. The LGBTQA+ is a community on its own; it's a place where students can come together, be who they are and not fear being judged. It allows anyone to express their love in different situations.”
Olazabal has had a great experience being involved in the LGBTQ + Allies club. With her eyes set on change, she has risen to any opportunity to make sure that her views were met.
Olabazal commented,“Also...I'm glad that I ran for the E Board because it has given me many opportunities. It has opened doors up for me, whether it's regarding getting to know certain people and making connections on campus. I just feel like it brings me a little step further into bringing some change to our environment.”
Although she has not reached the finish line in her goals, Olabazal is sure to work on it by encouraging many more students like her who are willing to take on the challenge.
“I would encourage anyone highly to join because it’s honestly a great environment that supports students to express themselves. You can honestly just be yourself, and at the same time while you're enjoying your time meeting people you can still get educated about many topics.”
Many student associations have different things to offer students with different interests. The purpose of the bake sale was to improve the home of the LGBTQ + Allies community, to make it more inviting. Even without the funds, the club has already provided a warm home for many students in the eyes of Olazabal.
“The club definitely offers a safe space where anyone is welcomed to voice oneself. It encourages interaction among each other causing new friendships to form in the process of mingling. Students get educated as well by topics explained during our meetings concerning the LGBTQ community,” Olabazal expresses.
Various groups of students interested in learning more about the LGBTQ + Allies club were conversing with club members and E Board members as they selected which doughnut flavor they craved. The bake sale seemed a total success in providing an approachable social area as well as a sweet one.
“A bake sale was encouraged because, besides raising funds, it’s a really good way for students to get to know each other. Like right now students are gathered talking and mingling. It’s a great way to get to know people while enjoying a treat and might make friends automatically. It's like a best of both world’s type of situation.”
The bake sale delivered many delightful aspects, from the festive Valentine’s Day colors to the friendly smiles to students who gathered around. The LGBTQ community was given the opportunity to raise funds and expand their community on February 14th, by selling sweets in the Broadway lobby. By the look of the empty doughnut boxes and the social gathering students experienced, it is safe to say their goal was met.