Last week’s third annual “Inclusion Week” at Villanova University featured a “Queer Spin Class” sponsored by the campus group VU Pride.
Spin is working out on a stationary bike which can involve variations in intensity. The only thing that made this particular spin class “queer” was the sexual orientation of its participants.
Inclusion Week’s mission is to “create awareness for organizations that support and advocate for marginalized and underrepresented peoples, as well as to share resources available to students who are a part of these groups,” The Villanovan reports.
According to its website, VU Pride is comprised of “students, faculty, and staff working together to foster community, awareness and celebration of LGBTQIA+ identities on campus.”
A statement on the site from VU students, faculty and staff (who, keep in mind, have freely chosen to attend/work at the school) notes they are “dismayed by the recent statement from the Vatican that names same-sex unions as a ‘sin’ and suggests that it is a choice to love someone of the same sex.”
Inclusion Week Committee member Tess Chiarello said the Queer Spin Class was a “highlight” of the week and “super fun.”
Other Inclusion Week activities included “Donuts for Diversity” (the Black Student Union), the Latin American Student Association “Family Dinner” and a performance by the “multicultural hip-hop dance team” Ablaze.
In addition to the events hosted by student organizations, Villanova’s Dining Services also participated in the Inclusion Week festivities. Members of the Inclusion Week Committee coordinated with dining services.
“I reached out to dining services asking to contribute to Inclusion Week by exposing a more culturally diverse menu for the week,” Perez said. “They responded by saying they would do it, which was not a surprise because they helped us in the past two years. We are very grateful for Dining Services for taking up the extra effort to contribute and make Inclusion Week a more one-of-a-kind experience on campus.”
The talented and hardworking chefs created diverse menus to highlight a broad variety of cultural meals representing distinct cultures. During the week, the dining halls served food from Filipino cuisines, African cuisines, Middle Eastern cuisines and South and Southeast Asian cuisines.
Chiarello said Villanova students “can embody the themes of Inclusion Week into [their] everyday lives by appreciating others, learning more about cultures and groups we may not know a lot about [and] being an ally to those who need it.”
IMAGE: VU Pride/Instagram