STORY BY LARISSA SAMANO, SPORTS EDITOR
PHOTO BY VANESSA PEREZ, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Miscommunication regarding a “Quiet Week” planned by the staff of Cypress College’s Pride Center left student members confused.
A message from Jenelle Herman, the LGBTQ+ Liaison, was sent to students through Discord just a few days before the “Quiet Week” commenced. The message stated the staff’s requests of students during the week and explained what would be taking place.
According to the message, the “Quiet Week” was to allow the staff time to figure out a few goals and adjustments with the new fully functioning center and room. They asked for all students to maintain a library voice while in the Pride Center to avoid any extra distractions along with a request to give staff members time to work on their own without interruption. In addition, the center was to be closed that Wednesday for staff meetings.
While this was all to be set in stone and taken care of, many students were left confused and disappointed in the lack of communication from the Pride Center staff members. Not many students had this news brought to their attention until late which raised concerns.
Pride Center attendee Jocelyn Anaya said, “I feel like some were probably not informed about this because they might not be as active in the discord.” They also said, “I understand where the staff is coming from…This week was so much calmer which hopefully brought some relief to the workers at the center.”
Included in the announcement from Herman, she stated that moving forward the Pride Center would be setting newly developed expectations that students need to fulfill to even be able to access the center and its resources and benefits in the following weeks.
She asked students to reflect on their engagement with the Pride Community at Cypress and addressed that the Center is funded to allow Queer students to develop a deeper sense of self, increase academic success, and become informed and engaged citizens. “One element of that is ensuring that our Pride Community functions like a rowboat and not a cruise ship,” Herman wrote.
Numerous other students felt the event took place out of nowhere and worried that the center had other problems.
While there was clear miscommunication and misunderstanding from each side, a few Queer Student Alliance members were able to further explain.
Siri Napier, Secretary of QSA, explained the quiet week was needed and beneficial for the program. Napier said, “We just got moved into the bigger room so we’re trying to keep that and just also keep everything running and laid back enough for people to still enjoy. For a lot of students that just show up, it’s not apparent to them what needs to be adjusted or what’s happening behind the scenes.”
With rumors spreading, QSA President Ash Hartwig added there was a misconception about Quiet Week and cleared up a few misunderstandings. Hartwig said, “We wanted to give people a room where [Pride Center students] can go and actually study without it being really loud.”
Hartwig explained that it was a fairly abrupt announcement and the staff lacked sufficient timing to warn students about the event, but said, “Everyone was really understanding when it did happen because it wasn’t a big deal or massive change.”
She added that there does need to be better communication from the center’s staff and it is actively being worked on. Hartwig said, “We’re still trying to figure out a lot of making sure everyone understands everything and getting messages out there more because some people don’t check the discord.”
While there were a few tribulations through the midterm week for the Pride Center, it shed light on improving communication and allowed time to make the Center as enjoyable to both students and staff as possible.