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The Alliance recognized at Sioux Falls Pride Gala

January 17, 2019

Dakota State University’s student club – The Alliance, a Gender and sexuality alliance (GSA), was awarded $830 by the Sioux Falls Pride organization for being a visible and active member of the GSA community.

Sioux Falls Pride is a non-profit organization that provides services, support and advocacy for the LGBT+ community in Sioux Falls and surrounding regions.

On January 10, The Alliance was recognized during the Sioux Falls Pride Gala for their passionate work enhancing the lives of group members on campus, according to Quinn Kathner, president of Sioux Falls Pride and a DSU alum.

“When I was in school at DSU there was no GSA,” Kathner said. “It makes my heart so happy and proud to see our GSA community members out and proud.”

The Alliance submitted their information to Sioux Falls Pride for potential funding in late August. Marissa Guillory, president of the student run organization, received a phone call shortly before the gala that The Alliance would receive funding from Sioux Falls Pride.

“We want to be a support system for our GSA’s,” Kathner said. “There’s no better investment in our future than in our youth.”

Guillory and a few other members of The Alliance group were already attending the event as guests of Madison Area Stands Together (MAST), a local community group that purchased a table at the event.

DSU Associate Professor of English for New Media Stacey Berry, who is the advisor of The Alliance, said that the $830 is a massive bonus for the club’s budget. The recognition the group received caused her to reflect on the progress the group has made through hard work over the years.

“The Alliance is about inclusion and that includes everybody,” Berry said.

The group, which has over 50 active members, meets weekly on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in the Trojan Center Regents Room. Each year The Alliance hosts a variety of events on campus like a charity bake sale, a clothing drive, a drag show, movie nights, TV show viewing parties, and study nights. The club will decide together how best to utilize the additional funds, according to Guillory. Those interested in learning more about the club can attend a meeting or visit the Facebook group The Alliance at DSU.

“I’m overwhelmed with pride for them [Alliance members] to be acknowledged in that way,” Berry said.

The Alliance ally Vaughan Hennen, DSU digital design/access librarian, has supported The Alliance since he began working at DSU two years ago.

“I’m really proud of them, all of the members, and especially Stacey,” he said. “She’s a great role model who deserves a lot of credit,” Hennen said.

Members of The Alliance are grateful for the work Equality South Dakota and Sioux Falls Pride are doing and the support they have received from the Madison community, the local group MAST, and Dakota State University.