The Pride Center at UT offers LGBTQ+ students a community to build relationships, a brave space for students to discover themselves, and a program that promotes allyship with marginalized groups, inclusivity on campus, and other educational opportunities. Located in the heart of campus in the Student Union, the Pride Center is important for our campus to celebrate and support our community and intertwining identities. The center helps students with similar life experiences find each other and create bonds, allowing students to form support systems like that of a family.
“A lot of our students are wanting to connect with others that have had the same experiences and have similar identities,” says Bonnie Johnson, the coordinator for the Pride Center. “They are able to talk about what that means, what it looks like for them in their own lives, and what it looks like as a larger community.”
The impact that the center has on LGBTQ+ students is significant. It’s a community gathering point where students can be supported by faculty, staff, and friends. Students build connections and friendships that last a lifetime. In Bonnie’s case, she continues to be friends with people she met during her time as a student. She understands that finding these connections can help students in their own journeys, not only as members of the LGBTQ+ community but as UT students.
“I love meeting new people and being able to interact with every student; everyone brings such a different personality and perspective,” Bonnie said. When deciding to return to UT in this role, she explains she wanted to give back to the community, “My motto has always been ‘I want to be the person I needed as a student’ and I wanted to be an advocate.”
Looking to get involved with the Pride Center or want to learn a little more? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment.
Join the Peer Mentoring Program!
The Pride Center Peer Mentoring Program (PCPMP) partners incoming and transfer Volunteers with older students to connect with our LGBTQ+ and ally community, feel more knowledgeable about campus resources, build leadership skills, check out campus events together, and transition successfully to college life at Rocky Top. Interested mentors and mentees can register now at tiny.utk.edu/pcpmp, and we’ll also be running an application drive in the fall!