Alliance group provides a safe place for everyone

LAUREN OOLEY | STAFF REPORTER /Wikimedia Commons photo

The Alliance office, housed in the Diversity Center, is easily identified by the rainbow Post-It notes that cover the door. Each Post-It has a compliment or kind saying on it.

Alliance is a club that “provides a safe space for people to be themselves regardless of societal expectations or pressures,” Olivia Jackson, vice president of Alliance, explains.

Jackson, a senior,  joined her junior year when she begun dealing with being a transgender woman so that she could have a support group.

“But it’s so much more than a support group. We put on events that show that the LGBTQ community has valuable things to offer the rest of humanity,” Jackson said.

Pride Party is one big event Alliance puts on every May. However, Alliance is perhaps best known for the drag show that they put on each fall, where professionals and students are invited to perform.

“The drag show was great last year and we are working to make it even greater this year,” Yianni Petsalis, Alliance treasurer, said.

Petsalis explained that he was not exposed to the LGBTQ community in high school. Interested in learning more about the community, he joined Alliance his freshman year.

Petsalis said the club “opens you up because there is no judgement there.”

Eva Schafer, Alliance secretary, joined the club her sophomore year. She says “It’s easy for members of the LGBTQ community to feel alone.” Joining Alliance provided her with the community she had been looking for.

The club has about 15 regular members. This year more straight ally supporters have joined than in years past.

Butler University has built a Community of Care by establishing an encouraging and supportive atmosphere on campus. Alliance takes the Community of Care to the next level.

Petsalis said he feels completely comfortable in the environment Alliance provides.

“Sometimes I walk around the Center in high heels just because they’re there. Why not? No one is judging me,” he said.

Meetings are an open forum for members to discuss whatever is on their minds – from things on campus that make them happy to global issues, and everything in between.

Alliance meets every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Diversity Center. The group is “absolutely looking for new members. Everyone is welcome,” Schafer said.