ASMC presents Moorpark College Pride Fair on National Coming Out Day


ASMC Director of Student Organizations Sergio Mendieta and ASMC Director of Student Services Alette Laughton hand out buttons, mini-flags and free food tickets to attendants of the Moorpark College Pride Fair on Oct. 11, 2022. Photo credit: Sarah Graue

By Sarah Graue

Over 200 students visited the Pride Fair hosted by the Associated Students of Moorpark College on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day.

To promote the inclusivity and visibility of the LGBTQ community on campus, Moorpark College students celebrated in the quad with pride-related activities and free food sponsored by the ASMC. Students also received mini pride flags, tote bags, stickers and pins created at the MakerSpace.

While most pride events are held in June, ASMC Director of Student Services Alette Laughton coordinated the event in October to increase accessibility for students.

“We typically don’t have school in session during Pride Month in June, so we thought it would be a really good idea to hold this event on National Coming Out Day,” Laughton said. “The Pride Fair really brings students together and builds a community, especially in a post-COVID world.”

Additionally, the ASMC orchestrated an art contest for students to showcase their connection to LGBTQ pride.

“Our prompt is, ‘What does pride mean to you?’ and students are welcome to draw a design that inspires them,” Laughton explained. “We are going to do a poll on the ASMC Instagram and provide cash prizes just to help the students out as a small scholarship.”

Moorpark College students participate in the Pride Fair art contest by completing the prompt, “What does pride mean to you?” on Oct. 11, 2022. Photo credit: Sarah Graue

The Pride Fair also highlighted student services such as the Moorpark College Student Health Center. Health Science Lecturer Jasmine Betka provided insight into resources available for LGBTQ students through the school.

“We always are an inclusive center across the board, but today we have specific sexual health information and brochures for the LGBTQ+ community on campus,” Betka said. “We want to make sure students and staff feel celebrated during National Coming Out Day and LGBTQ+ History Month.”

Betka also notified students of Moorpark College’s SAFEZONE training program for faculty and staff. To foster a non-discriminatory learning environment for all, Moorpark College has pledged to provide equitable resources including all-gender restrooms and counseling services for students.

Upon leaving the Pride Fair, students were invited to sign an ASMC pride banner that will be displayed at all future pride events. This inclusive activity resonated with Emily DiMattia, a first-year film major.

“The Pride Fair makes me feel seen as a student, and as a human being,” DiMattia stated. “It makes me extremely proud to be on a campus that supports and acknowledges the LGBTQ+ community.”

As a new transfer student, the Pride Fair allowed DiMattia to feel supported by Moorpark College’s staff for the first time.

“I transferred from CSUN to come to Moorpark College and I already feel so much happier,” DiMattia said. “Seeing how much this college cares for the students really makes a difference for me.”

To learn more about Moorpark College’s resources for LGBTQ students, click here.