LGBTQ Resource Center hosts annual picnic

SVU students were among the community organizations in attendance


Catherine McKean

Students enjoyed the warm weather at the event.

Olivia Ullman

On the evening of Sept. 17, students, faculty and community members gathered on the lawn in front of the Red House for the annual picnic hosted by the WGSS department and LGBTQ Resource Center, which celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sept. 9.

Though masked, students were able to chat at picnic tables, enjoy pre-packaged food, play spikeball and visit organization tables.

The university’s Liberation Alliance, a sponsor of the event, was joined by Community Anti-Racism Effort, the Gender Action Group, members of Rockbridge County High School, local non-profit Project Horizon and the SVU Pride Club. 

Cornhole boards were painted with rainbow colors. Photo by Virginia Laurie, ’22.

Chloe Duensing, ’24, was glad to meet people from the larger community.

“I’m glad there was so much community,” Duensing said. “I thought it was going to just be mostly QLA, but [the picnic] had so many people from businesses and other supporting organizations.”

This is the first year that members of Southern Virginia University’s Pride Club attended the WGSS/LGBTQ+ picnic.

Johnathan Dye, president of SVU’s Pride Club, was happy with the turnout.

“I am very excited to see the number of resources that are available to LGBTQ people in this area,” Dye said. “Coming from a more conservative school, it’s important to access resources from the outside community. I loved seeing the different facets of a supportive community in the Greater Rockbridge Area come together.” 

Dye hopes to continue working with Jake Reeves, the assistant director of inclusion and engagement for LGBTQ+ Support at Washington and Lee to coordinate inclusion and safe space training for SVU faculty.

Reeves looks forward to additional programming on campus. 

“I am excited for a semi-normal year of LGBTQ+ programming,” Reeves said.

Reeves plans to host an event in the Red House, which houses the LGBTQ Resource Center, on Oct. 19 to celebrate National LGBT Center Awareness Day.