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Unity Wing hosts spring semester open house

Published on February 02, 2023

Unity Wing hosts spring semester open house

Nicole Potestivo, Pride Center Coordinator (left), Joshua Sumrell, Intercultural Center Coordinator (middle), Starsheemar Byrum, Women's Center Coordinator (right)

Nicole Potestivo engaging in an activity with Women's Center guests.

Unity Wing coordinators and staff welcome guests.

Eastern Connecticut State University’s Unity Wing held an open house on Jan. 27 to familiarize students with the missions, values and resources of its three parts—the Intercultural Center, the Pride Center and the Women’s Center. The Unity Wing serves as an interconnected support system that reinforces the goals of feminism, the LGBTQ+ community, multiculturalism and social justice.

“The events that we put on throughout the entire Unity Wing have a sense of family and belonging. They’re truly for everybody,” said junior Amia Lott, student ambassador for the Women’s Center. “As soon as people walk into the Pride, Women’s or Intercultural Center, they feel like they’re a part of something larger. We try to make sure that everyone stays connected and feels welcome here at Eastern.”

Pride Center Student Ambassador, Julia Simpson (right) guiding guests through activities.

The four-hour event gave students an opportunity to interact with center ambassadors, intermingle, engage in activities and win raffle prizes. Each center worked collaboratively to create activities that reflected their shared principles—acceptance, representation, unity, diversity, visibility, companionship and equality.

“We’ve been working really hard before the semester started to plan all of these events, so we are very excited,” said Julia Simpson, a Pride Center student ambassador. “Not only do we have events, but we have initiatives coming out. It’s going to be great.”

The Unity Wing Open House also served as a platform for coordinators and student ambassadors to promote future events. Next month, Simpson said she will be heading a crossover event that is intended to form connections between the Intercultural Center and the Pride Center. Both centers will discuss possible solutions for prevalent issues affecting marginalized groups on campus.

Ndeiye Tall, a junior political science major said the purpose of the Unity Wing’s Open House was to “meet with new people in a shared space and learn about the goals, beliefs and impact that each group has had on our campus.”

Students enjoy food and dessert at the Intercultural Center.

While the Women’s Center aims to affirm and honor all women by ensuring they are empowered and have a voice, Tall said the Intercultural Center’s biggest benefit is its ability to bring together people from different backgrounds, races, cultures and ethnicities.

“By connecting with different people, you will inevitably learn new and different things about yourself, the world and others,” said Tall. “For example, today I met Gio from Kenya, and I was so fascinated by his cultural background and traditions!”

Nicole Potestivo, coordinator of the Pride Center, said the Unity Wing held the event to maintain visibility throughout the spring semester. “The biggest factor for us is letting students know early on what resources and support we have to offer them,” she said. “The staff that have managed these bases have attempted to shape them around what students need. So, please reach out to us. We are here to help!”


Written by Jack Jones