As a part of Monmouth’s University’s mission toward making the campus and community an inclusive and accepting environment, there are a number of clubs and organizations that celebrate inclusion and diversity.
Among these organizations are the S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. Club, which stands for Sexuality, Pride, Education, Community, Truth, Respect. According to the university’s website, the club was created to support and bring awareness to the LGBTQIA+ community that is here on campus.
The organization contributes greatly to the safe and positive atmosphere the university strives to create for students by allowing members to freely talk about their identities and experiences, have access to LGBTQIA+ resources, and help contribute to educating the entire campus on the importance of promoting LGBTQIA+ equality.
Faculty advisor of the club, Professor Amanda Stojanov, spoke about how the club has impacted Monmouth as a whole. She said, “The Monmouth University community is a site of meaningful conversations around education and life experiences. It is vital to have an LGBTQ+ student group on campus to let others know that their experience is valid and celebrated. SPECTRUM has and continues to lead that work which impacts all in the Monmouth University community positively.”
Adirana Zefutie, a senior psychology student, serves as the President of the club. She said, “To me, the SPECTRUM Club brings about feelings of hope and resilience, and I’m looking to ensure that every member, or prospective member, has a chance to be themselves and meet new people in the process. I became president of SPECTRUM because I felt as if my participation in the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) in high school and SPECTRUM last year has prepared me for the opportunity to both learn more about the community, as well as help others who may have not had the same chance to spend so much time in supportive clubs. I intend to act as a resource and friend for all of the SPECTRUM members.”
Zy’air Johnson is a sophomore studying criminal justice, who serves as the club’s treasurer. Unlike Zefutie, Johnson did not have access to any clubs like SPECTRUM prior to attending Monmouth. He explained, “This club is very important to me because I never had anything like this in my high school. I came to college ready to stop being afraid of expressing myself and I believe that this club has helped me accomplish that. This club has also allowed me to meet people who have the same feelings of wanting to find a place to belong and to make new friends that understand what I am going through.”
I, myself, can relate to what Zy’aire told me. I joined the SPECTRUM Club my freshman year because I never had a fully supportive and accepting community at my high school. After being made fun of for years for my sexual orientation, I wanted to finally meet people like me who would accept and support me. The LGBTQIA+ friends and allies I have met here at Monmouth have truly changed my life and have made me feel more loved and accepted than I ever have before.
Some of the upcoming events the club will be holding include the celebration of Coming Out Day on Oct. 11. Zefutie said that she is working with the Intercultural Center to, plant and grow a tree for the club as a way to “commemorate the courage, resilience, and growth of the
Dates, times, locations, and other details about these celebrations and events will be determined throughout the fall and spring semesters. All students are welcome to join!
For more information about the club’s events and how to register for the club, follow @mu_spectrum on Instagram or email email@example.com.