Eagles for Pride becomes fully chartered

Avaerie Fitzgerald

Eagles for PRIDE was officially fully-chartered under Ashland University this summer after three years of being provisionally chartered.

Current President of EFP and senior, Julia Swanson-Hines, took the position of AU alumnus, Joe Farber, who led the group with help from the club’s advisors Dr. Craig Hovey and former Professor for College of Education Dr. Jim Olive.

The Collegian

“When I received the news that Eagles for PRIDE had been approved as a fully chartered organization, I didn’t cry, although I felt like I could, but instead I laughed,” Hines said. “I couldn’t help but laugh with how much joy I felt. I was with my family when I got the news, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to be around except for the members of Eagles for PRIDE themselves.”

After taking the position of Farber, Hines continued the aim for a full-charter. This full-charter makes the group publicly recognized by the university.

“I’m extremely excited to go into my last year at AU and my second year as President of EFP, but my first year as a president of a fully-chartered organization. I’m extremely grateful for the help that our advisor Craig Hovey and former advisor Jim Olive gave us, as well as the repeated efforts by the VP of Student Affairs, Dr. Pool, to reach this point. Most of all, though, I’m eternally grateful for the support and passion that the students, alumni, faculty and staff of Ashland University have shown Eagles for PRIDE.”

After receiving almost five-thousand dollars in donations from Day of Giving, it was clear to the group that there was support all around the university and the community.

“I was immediately filled with joy and pride. I was very relieved as well. The way it was done really seemed like a firm decision was being made,” Hovey said about hearing the news of the charter.

It is not clear what this charter means for the current and future policies of the university, however, it is progress towards a more welcoming and open campus.

“Overall, I would gladly say that the journey Eagles for PRIDE has taken over the years has been a hard one, but one that acts as a testament to the dedication and compassion held by people who come to Ashland University.”

Along with helping at some events throughout the year, Dr. Hovey spent a lot of his time in meetings and difficult conversations advocating for the group.

“I think it’s especially important for incoming LGBTQ+ students to immediately be able to recognize that there is a group where they’ll feel comfortable and welcomed and at home. That seems to be the main focus of the group- less so advocacy oriented in terms of how previous generations have really fought for LGBTQ+ rights. The focus of this group is much more [about] welcoming each other.”

This year the group aims to welcome in new members and host a number of events around campus.