Photo Credit: SMCInclusive Logo
The Newest St. Mike’s LGBTQ+ Group
Brennah Doyle, Associate News Editor
The University St. Michael’s College (USMC) has been known for its close sense of community. Like most university communities, USMC has many clubs which attend to many students’ needs. In this article, The Mike has chosen to highlight a new club at USMC entitled SMCInclusive.
SMCInclusive is a pro-LGBTQ2AIP+ group on the USMC campus. SMCInclusive aims to create an open and comfortable space for everyone, regardless of identity, to be fully and authentically themselves. For many students, university is an opportunity for growth, exploration, and finding themselves. All the executives at SMCInclusive know how exciting and terrifying that process can be and hope to be able to provide ample information as well as a positive space for students to ask questions, search for answers, and strengthen their connections with others in the USMC community.
On Monday, November 18, SMCInclusive had its first meeting. The Welcome Social took place in Brennan Hall, with snacks and drinks available to all. The meeting began with a land acknowledgement as well as a discussion of Kent Monkman, an indigenous artist and a part of the community who identifies as queer and two spirit, the discussion centred on his famous painting titled “The Daddies.”
During this first Welcome Social, the executive members of the team were also introduced: Andrew Raya, President of SMCInclusive; Brennah Doyle, Vice President; Marie-Rose Domenichini, Treasurer; Adam Da Costa Gomes, Secretary; and Michela Lo Re, Social Media Representative. When asked about the event, the executive team was truly blown away at the turnout for the first event and commented on looking forward to future events.
In an attempt to ensure that SMCInclusive remains a positive and respectful environment, the executive team asked that all general members sign their Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is in place to make sure it is understood that SMCInclusive events will be a safe space for everyone. Although everyone is welcome at the events with or without signing the SMCInclusive Code of Conduct, all those in attendance will be held to the same standards of respect that it outlines.
The SMCInclusive’s Code of Conduct includes maintaining an environment in which “students should allow others to share opinions…[while] challenging and/or criticizing oppressive ideas;” however, as the Conduct states, “we should not be challenging people.” Further, the group’s Code of Conduct reminds students that they should “respect everyone’s diversity and not make assumptions about others’ identities.” Essentially, the main goal of this club is to highlight a safe space community for students on the USMC campus.
During the week of November 25, SMCInclusive held its second event: Netflix & Chat. The event was held on Wednesday, November 27, where SMCInclusive screened Love, Simon alongside a chill social and chat. It was held at the Senior Common room at USMC from 6 to 9 p.m. Whether you are a part of the community, an ally to the community, or just interested in learning about the group, you are welcome at all events.
Future events are also in the works. One of SMCInclusive’s priorities is to discuss the meaning of the LGBTQ2AIP+ acronym. In 2020, SMCInclusive hopes to see a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. The club also has plans to attend a Drag Brunch at the Gladstone in the following year as well.
The club can be reached out to through Instagram and Facebook at @smcinclusive.