Lavender graduation ceremony honors SOU’s LGBTIQ students

On Thursday, June 13 at 6 p.m., Southern Oregon University will be hosting its 10th consecutive Lavender Graduation Celebration in the Rogue River Room of the Stevenson Union.

The purpose of the ceremony is to celebrate the lives and achievements of SOU’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, genderqueer, and allied students.

Graduates will have the opportunity for their accomplishments at SOU to be recognized and honored at the ceremony. Students will be able to ask a close friend, family member or professor to speak about them for a few minutes.

This event will also serve as an opportunity to publicly thank all those who have contributed time, effort and ceaseless support to the LGBTIQ community at SOU.

Graduating student Samantha Grafton, who works in the Queer Resource Center and who has been an ally for the LGBTIQ community for the last three years, firmly believes that it is vital and beneficial to the community to celebrate these individuals.

“It’s important to be supportive of every minority,” she says. “We [as a community] need to be more aware of our actions, more educated and understanding, and willing to listen so we can be better citizens.”

When she attended the Lavender ceremony two years ago, Grafton said the experience was “really great and had a very warm environment. You get to see that community get recognition.”

This is especially important, she said, because the QRC is the “only resource of that nature in Southern Oregon.”

Students who wish to be a part of the ceremony or who wish to nominate individuals for awards must do so via the QRC Facebook page by May 31. Graduates will receive a certificate of achievement and a rainbow honor cord.

All are invited to attend the ceremony regardless of your involvement with the QRC.

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