News WriterThis week, Saint Mary’s College Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) will be hosting Pride Week in celebration of the LGBTQ community.Sophomore coordinator Bridget Venard said Pride Week is an opportunity for Saint Mary’s students to support friends who identify as LGBTQ.“[Pride Week’s] purpose is to remind people that it’s hard to be of a different sexual orientation in our society, but that you should still be proud of it,” Venard said. “[Sexual orientation] shouldn’t be something that could set you back. … It’s celebrating that community and making our presence known that, yes, there are gay people on our campus, [and] not everyone is the same.”Venard said Pride Week gives allies a chance to become more educated about the LGBTQ community as well. A panel discussion on Tuesday at 7 p.m. will allow students to hear about current events from different perspectives.“It’s another chance to celebrate diversity and equality here on campus,” senior coordinator Hayley Miller said.Venard said SAGA is offering a variety of activities for students to celebrate the LGBTQ community, including a community outreach with the GLBT Resource Center of Michiana.The purpose of Pride Week is to make students, no matter what their sexual orientation, aware of the organizations and clubs, like SAGA, that are available to support students and build a better community, Venard said.“We often live in a binary where you are either one or the other, or you don’t talk and celebrate how we are different,” Venard said. “You don’t have to be gay to be in the club; you can just come to the club and learn from our events and try to think about it in a different way. As a liberal arts school, we try to learn in different ways, [and] it’s very important let people know that people identify in different ways.”After overcoming obstacles within the club, senior coordinator Brookelin Propes said she is looking forward to seeing the impact of Pride Week.“We worked so hard, so I’m excited to watch it all come together,” Propes said. “Hopefully [we] see a lot of people come out to the events we have created.”Venard said she is looking forward to the week ahead because of the personal connections that will be made on campus.“I really value this week in that it creates personal connections among people,” Venard said. “This week is meant to empower people to be proud of who they are and speak out and represent their identity if they choose so.”Miller said she believes this week will be rewarding because of the many signatures already on the Pride Week banner, which is available for signing in the Noble Family Dining Hall.“We had to overcome a lot of obstacles to put this week on, so the fact that we have so many signatures on the banner already is rewarding,” Miller said. “It’s something we believe, and we want others to believe in us as well.” Tags: LGBTQ, Pride Week
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Hempstead Town Clerk Mark BonillaEx-Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla was sentenced Monday to 300 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine for his misdemeanor official misconduct conviction this summer.Nassau County Judge Sharon Gianelli had found the 51-year-old Bellmore man threatened to transfer an employee unless the employee provided Bonilla with compromising photos of the employee’s ex-girlfriend who is suing Bonilla for alleged sexual harassment.Gianelli ruled that is was unclear whether Bonilla requested the photos or if the employee offered them, but it was clear that the ex-clerk wanted to cover up the existence of the negotiations.Bonilla, a Republican who had been in office for a decade, was removed from office following his conviction. His attorney, Adrian DiLuzio, has said that he would probably appeal the conviction.He was found not guilty of petit larceny, coercion and a second misconduct charge in July.Prosecutors had recommended the maximum sentence of one year in jail.The sexual harassment lawsuit against Bonilla is still pending.