PRIDE!Kent elects new board members

David Yochum

By one vote, Clare Ford, freshman fashion design major, was elected PRIDE!Kent board secretary over Jae Lerer, sophomore history major, at last week’s PRIDE!Kent meeting.

Running unopposed, Kat Rybski, freshman exploratory major, was unanimously elected PRIDE!Kent programming chair.

Elections for the PRIDE!Kent executive seats came two weeks after Craig Snell, former PRIDE!Kent secretary, and Carrie Wicks, former PRIDE!Kent programming chair, resigned from their positions because of academic obligations.

The resignations were submitted after disappointing attendance at PRIDE!Kent’s Coming Out Week activities and as PRIDE!Kent attendance overall dwindled.

New board members said they will focus on fixing the group’s downfalls by improving communication and marketing.

Lerer was appointed PRIDE!Kent community service chair after losing his bid for secretary. He said it’s time for the group to be revitalized.

“It’s not just the board’s job to rally the troops,” he said. “We need to restructure and rebuild from the ground up. I have been involved in the rejuvenation of PRIDE before, and I’m pretty confident I can do it again.”

Ford wants to work on making minorities feel more welcome in the LGBT community and would like to see a change in apathetic views that have hurt the group.

“Not everyone goes to every day,” Ford said. “I’m interested in sending a weekly newsletter with a significant current event affecting our community. (PRIDE!Kent) has a history of doing good things, and I would like to move it forward.”

Discussing her experience at last week’s board of trustees meeting, Amanda Boyd, PRIDE!Kent president, reiterated that domestic partner benefits are also a key to moving forward.

She said President Lester Lefton could attract and retain a more diverse faculty by accommodating, accepting and supporting the LGBT community.

“Lefton talked about first-class everything at the meeting, but not having domestic partner benefits makes the LGBT community feel like it is second class,” Boyd said.

Contact minority affairs reporter David Yochum at [email protected].