Introducing Brianna Edwards
Not to be overshadowed by the endless number of organizations at Main Campus is the Queer Student Union, which is deeply involved in the GLBT community both inside and outside of Temple. Sophomore advertising major Brianna Edwards holds the position of QSU president and is hoping the organization has an extremely successful year. The Temple News sat down with Edwards to talk about her involvement in QSU and what events organization members have planned for the school year and about National Coming Out Week.
The Temple News: When did you first decide to get involved in Queer Student Union?
Brianna Edwards: Right from the beginning when I started college. I was very involved in high school. I was the Gay/Straight Alliance president. So, I just kind of naturally found this club. I ran for the graphics and media chair and [by] my third meeting I got it.
TTN: How did you work your way up to the position of president?
BE: Well, I did a lot of work as the graphic and media chair, just making sure to be at all the meetings and all the executive board meetings. We did a lot of work at the end of the year with transitional leadership. Our president was stepping down, since he was in his senior year. The position was open and I kind of just ran.
TTN: Since being a part of QSU, what is one of your most memorable experiences?
BE: Well, I definitely loved National Coming Out Week last year. I thought that was a lot of fun. And our meetings are also a lot of fun.
TTN: As president, what preparations did you take for NCOW?
BE: It’s just been a lot of reading emails, staying in-touch and staying informed about what is going on. We try to help out as much as we can. Rodney Prad is our advisor and he’s been pretty much leading the National Coming Out Week events and scheduling. So, just keeping in-touch with him. He usually speaks at most of our meetings about a couple of things, too.
TTN: What events did you participate in during last year’s NCOW?
BE: Last year, I went to the coming out stories, where Babel [Temple’s Poetry Collective] was there, and then everyone had a chance to share. I really loved that.
TTN: Do you plan on participating in similar events this year?
BE: Pretty much. I’m definitely looking forward to the panel. There is going to be a diversity panel. I just know that is going to be really interesting for people to hear.
TTN: What message would you like students to take from NCOW?
BE: I’d like them to know that it is OK to be who you are in Temple’s environment. Even though there are a lot of people that don’t necessarily always see eye-to-eye, I think Temple has made a pretty great achievement just to be able to host this event and allow students to feel comfort in coming out.
TTN: Would you give students similar advice who are curious in QSU?
BE: Yes. [Last Wednesday] was actually our student organization fair by the Bell Tower. A lot of students were coming up and were like, “What does the Queer Student Union do?” And I am just telling them that we strive to make sure that we are a part of Temple’s community and that we are a part of Philadelphia’s community, and that everyone feels safe, comfortable and that we are trying to work and make this environment and community a better place.
Katherine Lynn Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.