By Natasha Borges
The Granite State Room was jam-packed on Tuesday morning with students, faculty members, hall directors and more, all coming together to celebrate the 23rd Annual LGBTQ+ and Ally Pancake Breakfast.
President Mark Huddleston spoke on behalf of the progress UNH has made due to community members standing by the principles in which they believe. This was followed by the reveal of the 2014-2015 Kidder Fund Awards announced by both Joelle Ryan, an influential member of the LGBTQ+ community and lecturer in Women’s Studies, and Ellen Semran, the LGBTQ+ coordinator at UNH.
Staff, faculty, undergraduate student and graduate student awards were given out to those who have remained active in spreading awareness for equality of all communities.
Lane McDonough, the student Kidder Award winner, said that celebrations like this are so important because involvement in the LGBTQ+ movement on campus has been evolving.
“The pancake breakfast highlights the successes and challenges that queer people face at UNH and even the world while honoring the work being done by students, faculty and staff to spread awareness,” McDonough said.
Open to all students, friends, families and UNH faculty and staff, the event was held to recognize the accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community on and off campus.
There was an ongoing buffet of assorted fruits, pancakes, sausage, eggs, coffee and more. Several round tables were decorated with flowered centerpieces and classical table settings. Backdrops of LGBTQ+ pride flags portrayed the concept of equality.
Sponsored by the Kidder Fund and the President’s Commission on Status of LGBTQ+ issues, the breakfast was about more than pancakes.
Ryan gave a speech on UNH’s Year in Review. Ryan discussed the achievements UNH has made in regards to resources, awareness and milestones for various aspects of the LGBTQ+ community.
The pancake breakfast and events that resemble it on campus, not only recognize the hard work of the people who fight to make this community better, but they also inspire others to take action and become allies.
“The breakfast highlights oppression of LGBTQ+ people in our community and shows us as campus that there is a lot more we need to be doing to make it stronger and more equal,” Cayla Compton, a senior said.
A special video created by sophomore Casey O’Dea was also played during the event. The video included photos taken during several LGBTQ+ events put on throughout the year.