TriCo membership numbers growing since last semester

TriCo leadership credits One Mizzou as one of the reasons for its growth.

Triangle Coalition’s membership has increased significantly this year in comparison to last year.

Vice President Paul Reeves said attendance has doubled or tripled. This year, TriCo has about 30 people attend its meetings, while last year only about eight people regularly showed up.

Organization membership started to grow last semester.

Communications Officer Mason Kerwick credits the One Mizzou diversity campaign for the change.

“Changes in Mizzou’s campus climate have allowed the MU Triangle Coalition to increase our overall membership as students begin to proudly display their affiliation to the queer community,” Kerwick said.

TriCo advisor Struby Struble said MU’s culture today is more welcoming to the LBGTQ community than it was when she was an undergrad.

“It was harder for me to find a community to belong to when I was an undergraduate,” she said.

Struble said seeing more members in TriCo "warms her heart."

Reeves thinks the structure of TriCo meetings has helped boost membership.

“Instead of making our meetings all about business, we’ve done a lot more activities during them,” he said.

TriCo plans educational speakers and fun activities for the meetings. In the past, members have played queer jeopardy and listened to discussions on gay rights issues.

“Student leaders have done a great job on planning meetings and educational and fun events,” Struble said.

Last week, TriCo talked about eating disorders in the queer community and how they affect queer people differently than straight people. About 20 members also went to see comedian Margaret Cho.

Next week, newly elected executive board members will plan the meeting and its activities. They plan to discuss the social concepts of gender.

Struble said TriCo should be able to continue expanding if it continues its new meeting style.

“The trend of increased membership will continue so long as TriCo continues to have more successful events," Struble said. “People will see the fun events planned and want to participate more. “

Not only those who identify as LGBTQ attend TriCo meetings. Allies, those who do not identify as LGBTQ but support the LGBTQ community, are also helping the organization.

Having more allies at meetings helps TriCo’s membership, Kerwick said. Struble said the organization strives to promote community, in addition to activism.

TriCo has scheduled many events for this semester. The organizations teaming up with Queer People of Color to co-sponsor the educational speaker Mama Gloria on March 13. Gloria will speak about her personal experience as a transgender woman.

April is Pride Month, and TriCo has planned a drag show, pride prom and pride parade, among other events for the month. TriCo events usually have about 200 participants.

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