Fall Fling opens doors of LGBTQ Resource Center

The event was open to the entire Columbia LGBTQ community.

The LGBTQ Resource Center and the Multicultural Center co-sponsored the annual Queer Fall Fling on Thursday at the Center for Social Justice.

The Queer Fling is held on the first Thursday of classes each semester and aims to bring together Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer-friendly community members from both MU and the Columbia area.

The spring semester’s Fling set a new record for attendees that LGBTQ Resource Center Coordinator Ryan Black said he did not expect. He said such events have increased traffic flow through the Resource Center and encouraged more participation in groups such as the Triangle Coalition, which the Resource Center works very closely with.

TriCo Vice President Allison Braun said the Fling is a good opportunity for the group to introduce themselves and gain potential members.

TriCo’s purpose is to promote and maintain a healthy and positive environment for the LGBTQ community.

“Offering a space can definitely help people transition into the new school year if they are returning students or onto a new campus if they are transfer students or freshmen,” TriCo President Sean Jarvis said.

Jarvis described the Fling as a place to give people the opportunity to socialize and decompress, especially after the stress of the first week of classes.

This was sophomore Cameron Smith's third Fling.

“When I first got here, I looked up LGBTQ events on campus and found the Fling,” Smith said. “I like that I get to see all my old friends who I haven’t seen in forever.”

Braun said the event is a great way to get everybody in the community together and give freshmen a chance to meet new people and make friends.

“It helps build our community,” Braun said. “The great thing is that non-MU students are allowed to come, so community members can come and have a good time.”

The Resource Center opened the event to the entire Columbia community with the hopes that the LGBTQ community at MU and in Columbia could work together.

“It’s an issue of helping people to find activities off-campus,” Jarvis said. “Keeping an eye on that is really important so that you know what is going on in your community.”

Black said the Fling helps students develop connections both to the community and the Center for Social Justice as a whole.

“It is absolutely important to get new students who identify LGBTQ to get connected with the community, get to know the student leaders and find their own way,” he said.

Braun said it could be hard to bring everyone together as a community at times, but the Fling works to connect people together.

“It helps to get to know one another,” Braun said. “People are more likely to participate in events and that pulls everyone closer together. That is the whole purpose of the LGBTQ community on campus.”

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