Eagles for Pride continues to make its mark on campus


Submitted by: Eagles for Pride

The 2020-2021 exec board pictured Top left VP Hannah Myers, Top Middle VP Rhiannon Reed, Top right Treasurer Ruby Congrove, bottom left VP Noah Rau, bottom middle Secretary Dani Brown, Bottom Right President Katie McKay.

Katie Harrigan

Since becoming an officially chartered club in 2019, Eagles for PRIDE has been dedicated to providing a safe, inclusive and accepting environment for the Ashland LGBTQ+ community.

EFP has around 60 members who aim to support their peers and celebrate everyone’s individuality. 

“Eagles for PRIDE is a diversity organization on campus that educates, informs and functions as a social safe space,” EFP President and Senior, Katie McKay said.

McKay conveyed that EFP is a laid-back environment with a lenient and accepting community of people.

“After becoming chartered, we’ve finally built a culture, some habits and got our stride going,” McKay said

EFP is working to complete a historian binder that contains a collection of memories the club has made throughout the years. This project recognizes and highlights the club’s legacy on campus.  

“We are currently in the process of finalizing our historian binder with information we’ve kept up until this year,” McKay said. She added that EFP is looking into holding a virtual tour for the binder so people have the opportunity to look through it. 

After graduation, McKay hopes to see longevity in the future for EFP and continued growth within the club.

“I just want the organization to prosper, flourish and keep changing,” McKay said. 

The Eagles for PRIDE mission statement is “to work toward making Ashland University a safer and more inclusive environment regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity through education, support and community.” 

EFP Vice President and Sophomore, Rihannon Reed said this mission statement is so significant because it ensures students that they are not alone, they are wanted here at Ashland and the university cares about fundamental values.

“Our mission statement means providing somewhere to go for those who need it and feel like they don’t have anyone else, while also teaching others about things they might not know,” Reed said. “It’s about telling people there’s a place here for them at AU, even when it feels like the whole world’s against them.”

There are many different aspects of EFP that inspire people to join.

Vice President Rhiannon Reed (dressed up as Wirt from Over the Garden Wall) Showing off the door deck she made at EFP Halloween celebration.
October 2020.
(Submitted by: Eagles for Pride)

“I think everyone can get something they need from the club,” Reed said. “Whether that be a space for activism, gaining an education on things you may not fully understand but want to learn about, or just having a safe place to explore and express your identity and make some new friends.”

Early Childhood Education major and Junior, Hannah Myers has been part of EFP for over two years.

Myers said EFP has felt like family since she first arrived at Ashland University. The organization has given her a place to be herself and make new friendships.

From casual game nights to learning new things about LGBTQ+, there are definitely deep and meaningful connections that are made with every person that happens to stop by,” Myers said.

Myers expressed that it is important to have a club like EFP available to students because it makes everyone feel welcome and you don’t have to fear any judgement.

“Ashland University has a lot of wonderful and great people, but we still live in a reality that many are not accepting of certain identities, or are just not informed accurately,” Myers said. “I personally find a lot of value with an organization like EFP, because it relieves the stress of day-to-day life and it allows me to be my genuine self without worrying about the opinions of others.”

Anyone who is interested in EFP is encouraged to sign up at https://ashland.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/efp. They meet virtually every other Wednesday from 9-10p.m. through zoom. 

“Eagles for PRIDE has come such a long way in the few years that it has existed and it has certainly been quite a journey,” Myers said…“In the future, I hope that we are able to be a positive light on this campus and bring forth more inclusivity. Each student, staff and faculty has their own unique identities and personalities that we should all be able to celebrate.”