Accepting Community on Campus SPECTRUM
Club & Greek

How You Can Help Create a More Accepting Community on Campus with SPECTRUM

SPECTRUM (Sexuality, Pride, Community, Truth, Respect and Unity at Monmouth) is the on-campus LGBTQ+ club where students are able to grow with one another and develop skills that will help them think more critically and intersectionally about the world and how they fit into a bigger system.

This club is one that does not ostracize anyone, but also a club that perpetuates equality and deconstructs bigotry and oppression across all facets of the LGBTQ+ community.

Members get the opportunity to meet like-minded students and faculty that push pluralistic thought while creating diversity and acceptance across campus. Through various interests and passions, inequalities overlap into every discipline and everyone has something to offer to the table to strengthen a progressive atmosphere.

There are three parts of the club to increase visibility for the LGBTQ+ community including academic, social and activist layers. “It’s important that we have representation and visibility because that encourages community,” said Chris Rapaglia, Vice President of SPECTRUM and junior social work student. “Seeing someone who is like yourself, who is successful or history-making, can empower and nurture young queer students,” he continued.

Academically, the club offers opportunities including internships, conferences, panels, and volunteer work geared toward LGBTQ+ individuals. These are vehicles that promote inclusivity while preparing students to lead productive and professional lives after college.

P.U.S.H (Professors United for a Safe Haven) is a new initiative formed by the Gender Studies and Sociology faculty that SPECTRUM is often involved with. With strength in numbers, they plan to collaborate with student leaders and activists willing to step out of their comfort zones. Students can help contribute to their various projects such as sexual awareness prevention and enacting safe spaces for students. As a student, professors are a great resource to help move them along with the activism they choose to pursue.

Socially, every year SPECTRUM hosts ‘Coming Out Day’ on the student center patio. This year, the event was hosted within “Intersectionality Week” in conjunction with Youth Activists and SAGE (Students Advocating Girls’ Education), attracting over a hundred students to learn about LGBTQ+ education. So far, the club has done several events with other activist clubs such as Youth Activists, SAGE, Sociology and Gender Studies including the Women’s March, a welcome-back social, and various tabling events.

Sophomore English education student Bianca Leon said, “This club brings to light a lot of LGBTQ+ issues happening in our country today and what we can do as a community to prevent them or combat them.”

In the winter, SPECTRUM will be hosting, “Expression,” a literary and music culture festival, on January 31 from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Anacon Hall. The lineup, which are all groups with LGBTQ+ identifying members, includes indie pop bands such as Adult Mom and Free Cake for Every Creature as well as a ska-punk band known as Teenage Halloween.

The club will also have Melissa Febos, a professor in the English Department, read an excerpt from her memoirs. The festival brings light to the fact that there are many pieces of the LGBTQ+ spectrum that come into play in everyday life through the music, movies, and books people are exposed to.

The club hosts an annual Drag Show in the spring that will likely be coming back to campus this year. There is live music, dance, and interactive activities with the audience.

SPECTRUM also plans to bring back its Inclusivity Social event. The event focuses on LGBTQ+ topics and is very intimate with students sharing their personal stories as conduits to activism and freedom as a voice to their LGBTQ+ peers. The goal is to allow individuals to gain new perspectives about others as well as themselves.

 The club is largely centered around creating a more accepting environment on campus for everyone which explains the activist layer. “I think of student activism according to the lights of a liberal arts education, more broadly, which takes as its fundamental mission to actively empower young adults with a panoply of critical tools with and by which they might better understand, appreciate, and change both themselves and the world around them,” said Dr. George Gonzalez, co-advisor for SPECTRUM and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies.

SPECTRUM is a club based on community and acceptance where students and faculty are able to come together and be a voice for the disenfranchised. While the focus may be on the LGBTQ+ community, it is agreed that everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion or age, deserves a haven of peace and safety that so many take for granted every day. SPECTRUM’s mission is to bridge those gaps, welcome individuals with open arms, and build a pluralistic environment from a foundation for student activism.

Students looking to get involved with SPECTRUM can attend one of their meetings which take place every Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. in Bey Hall 222.