U.N.I.T.Y. Club Stresses Fellowship and Freedom

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Published on December 2, 2014

U.N.I.T.Y stands for Understanding Nurturing Individuals Throughout the Year. For the past 35 years, this has been a code that a club formerly called the Gay Straight Alliance has stood for and represented. However, this is not just any other regular club that exists around Housatonic, but one of togetherness, fellowship, freedom, and a place where nobody is being discriminated against for their sexuality. Members of  U.N.I.T.Y all have the opportunity to be comfortable in their own skin, and are able to connect with each in order to create special friendships along the way too. It is more than a club, but a place in which people can form a brother and sisterhood.

“We bring together a diverse group of sexuality, and we don’t care who you are, but anyone who is anyone can join us,” said Ivey Santiago, President.

Every Thursday at 3:30, members of the club meet in Beacon Hall 317A. Everyone comes together and shares their ideas of how to improve and enhance people’s lives. In this club, a key goal is to bring people together and help them feel appreciated and try to bring that attitude out into the world.

“During meetings we do anything from games, discussions on things going on in the community, to planning events. We also do support work within the group and the surrounding community,” Santiago said.

Most of this group’s work is predicated to the community, by taking part in marches and parades around Connecticut to promote their club and stand for what they believe in., which is love and togetherness. While they’re marching, these men and women create their own club t-shirts, along with wristbands. Even though all of the merchandise is made, Housatonic does not provide any funds for the club, so everything that is done, is done with their own funds.

“We do a lot of awareness things here, such as educating people on sex and different sexualities like homosexual, straight, or bisexual, but everything that we do comes out of our money,” Santiago said.

“Almost everyone here has different sexual opinions, which is what is so great about this club because everyone is different,” added Emily Bump, the Executive assistant of the club.

There are only 10 people who are members of the club but each one of those people bring something unique.  The members of this club try to prove that it does not matter what the ethnic background or sexuality of the person is because everyone is equal but different. Also, it’s about people trying to love one another, and be happy. When club members go out to the communities of Connecticut that is what their message to the people will be.

“It’s important to love a person instead of driving them away because they are different,” said Bump.