FSU pride march is more than a parade

Fanshawe students and Freddy The Falcon taking part in a Pride walk. CREDIT: MAURICIO PRADO
On July 13, the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) celebrated its annual pride parade alongside its Patio Pride Party.

On July 13, the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) celebrated its annual pride parade alongside its Patio Pride Party. The event included live music, dances, and food for students to socialize and have fun. The parade departed from the Oasis patio and ended in front of the T building.

FSU President Stephin Sathya said this event aimed to unite students and celebrate diversity and inclusion. He stated that inclusion is essential for improving student engagement, motivation and productivity.

“The students need to know that we support and include everyone. This event is for them to feel safe and respected in the Fanshawe community,” Sathya said. “In an inclusive and diverse community, everyone wins.”

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He said the event’s expectation of bringing students together was accomplished, as everyone who joined had a good time eating, dancing and sharing with others.

“We want the students to shine and show who they really are without being afraid of being excluded,” Sathya said.

FSU Student Life Coordinator Basia Boron said that this parade is for current students to feel represented in it and for future students to feel welcomed to Fanshawe College with “open arms.”

“This parade fosters a sense of community among students, leading to better relations, creativity, and decision-making,” Boron said. “It helps to break down stereotypes and prejudices students may have.”

Sathya said the event allowed him to interact with people and learn a little about their thoughts, concerns and reactions.

“It allows people to appreciate and embrace cultural differences as Fanshawe has a lot of students from abroad,” Sathya said. “Any setting benefits from having strong friendships as a foundation, and this parade is a fun time to develop those strong and meaningful friendships.”

Boron said this boosts self-esteem and confidence among students and guarantees that everybody is informed, accepted and supported.

“It is hoped that through doing this, people will learn to enjoy more one another’s company and share despite their differences, which is a fundamental life skill,” Boron said. “Empathy and understanding are developed as a result, which improves interpersonal connections and makes relationships more powerful.

Boron said that no matter the circumstances, everybody should have the right to feel safe and okay with themselves and their environment.

“People who are shy or have low self-esteem usually find it hard to make friends; this parade is for them to connect and to know they are not and will never be alone,” Boron said. “You are unique, and your identity is too.”