What is the history of the club?
Mitchell Norenberg: It’s actually one of the oldest clubs at MacEwan. It kind of morphed out of the Open Doors Club, which itself was formed in 2000, and then around 2010 it was somehow morphed into InQueeries. We are the campus’ gay-straight alliance, and basically we’re a social club where we provide supports and are there as friends. We get together for the sexual and gender minorities on campus.
What kind of events do you host?
Em Bussieres: We do a lot of fun social events, like we’ll do craft making things, t-shirt painting, board game nights, cross-stitching, Gay Jeopardy. We all try and get speakers to come in for our meetings, we’ve had people from the Pride Centre, we had the Edmonton Men’s Health Collective.
MN: And we do try to take a few field trips here and there.
EB: We went to the Pride Centre, we also went to Queerflex (Canada’s first queer-focused gym) which is just down the road.
MN: Basically we’re just a safe space for people to come have social contact, because it can be a little daunting here on campus.
What kind of engagement have you received from the student body?
MN: I’d say it’s very good turnout, we get about 20-25 people each week, usually the same people. We get a few who come every once and awhile, but we do have our few who come every week like it’s Sunday church. We like that! It feels like we’re doing something right here. You also don’t have to be a MacEwan student, we’re open to the community. If you’re in the neighbourhood or really anywhere we’ll welcome you in.
Can you talk about the club history you’re currently working on?
EB: We’re working on trying to piece together the history of our club, how we started, where we came from, and eventually we want to put it a little blurb on our Facebook page so people know how we started, and also put together a longer paper so that future club members don’t have to dig through again.
MN: When we became executives last April, we kind of had no idea and we’re trying to get people to tell us the history of InQueeries and nobody really knew, so we’ve having to track down our old founding executives. We’ve been asking them questions and interviewing them and going through primary resources. We just want that resource where people can have a good idea of where we’ve come from and where we can go.
What do you enjoy about being involved in InQueeries?
MN: It actually is making my university experience a much more rich experience. I feel much more involved, I stand out a little more on campus, my organizational skills are being put to good use, and aside from academic work I’m having fun. It’s really nice to take a break from a paper and attend a meeting.
EB: Apart from just having a fun place to hang out with like-minded people, I think it gives me a sense of purpose. It kind of makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile here, apart from my academic studies.
Anything else you want people to know about the club?
MN: Currently this semester we’re meeting everyday at 4:30 p.m. in room 7-277.
EB: This is our first year that we’ve organized the Trans and Non-Binary Meetup, I organize it so that’s my kind of thing. We meet the first Friday of the month in room 7-143 from 4 p.m to 6 p.m. We’ve gone to the Dirtbag Café and we went to the Winter Pets Assisting with Student Success (PAWSS) event and we’ve done cookie making so that was fun. It’s a smaller group but I hope that at least we’ve created an extra safe space, as this one is only for trans and non-binary people.
For more information about InQueeries, visit this Facebook page.
Edited for length and clarity. Cover photo by Devyn Ens.