After a two-year hiatus, MacEwan University’s 2SLGBTQIA+ student group InQueeries is back with a new executive team and exciting plans for the future. I sat down with the executive members to learn more about who they are and what big plans they have for the club.
How did you find each other and band together to bring InQueeries back?
RB: We all had already been introduced at the MacEwan Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD) space. I had actually been volunteering with them for about a year already. So when the rest of these folks showed up, there was a big interest in restarting the group. One of the program coordinators at the centre was sort of safekeeping InQueeries even though it was a corpse at that point. When she asked for volunteers, we offered to take it on.
What’s it like taking over such a historically successful student group?
RL: What I’ve personally experienced talking with a lot of folks is that InQueeries was a really popular group amongst both students and faculty, mainly for a lot of the educational portions of it. The cool part now is that we get a little bit more of a different drive because of the CSGD space, so instead of having to fill like four different pairs of shoes, we only have to fill one pair of shoes, which is socializing and helping peers and stuff stay connected on campus.
RB: I also think InQueeries had a very big reach in the Edmonton community, like they had Janis Irwin at one of their last events and had many consistent donors.
ED: Yeah, I even remember seeing InQueeries doing a lot of outreach stuff in my high school days.
What made you decide to keep the student group name, InQueeries?
RL: We really kept it because of the reputation that InQueeries already had, and we wanted to start the club up right from where it was left off when COVID started. We decided to keep the name because of its reputation in the community, and we didn’t want to confuse new and old folks. If we suddenly changed the name, it might throw people off and InQueeries already had such a positive reputation.
ED: There’s a legacy for sure.
RB: We did change the logo though! We decided it looked a little too much like LinkedIn, so we banded together to create the current logo as a combined effort.
What do you want to achieve with InQueeries this year?
KE: The biggest thing is to get its name back out there because a lot of people don’t know that the group exists again.
RL: I think also it’s just helping a lot of students start to get socially connected again through this club, especially after COVID. A lot of students have missed being able to socialize with like-minded people.
What are your meeting times? What kind of events can we expect to see this term?
ED: We host “InQueerTeas,” which is our mini-event that we try to hold at least once a month along with a general meeting. Current members and any new members that might be interested in coming can join us. It also allows the new members to come and sit in and see what our club is about and, of course, enjoy some hot beverages!
What are your plans for Pride Month?
RB: Since our little tea event is a new staple, we want to do one for Pride Week but vamp it up a little bit. The plan is to invite the whole campus to come to celebrate Pride and provide that space to meet each other. MacEwan is planning all sorts of exciting stuff for the rest of Pride. I think they’re kicking it off with a Retro Queer Prom. We’re also inviting our members to volunteer there to help run that.
What kind of engagement have you received from the student body so far?
RL: Because we are trying to start this club again basically from scratch, the traction was slower than we initially expected, but it also ended up kicking off much faster than we were expecting as the fall semester went on. We’re at over 100 members now.
KE: We’re also still learning how to run the group, so we’re going to continue navigating the frequent changes and just keep doing our best. The turnouts are getting better and better.
Who is InQueeries for?
RB: This group is for everyone! We are open to all identity sexualities, allies—really anyone! If you want to come and hang out, we are here with open arms.
What advice would you give to students who are struggling with finding their identity or facing backlash from family and friends?
KE: Come to our group; you’re so welcome here!
RL: Another resource we highly recommend is the CSGD space. They’ve been so amazing and supportive to us in helping us get back on our feet while also helping to keep that kind of separation between the student group and their space. The nice part about InQueeries is that as a student group, we’re more of that socializing aspect for students. The CSGD space is excellent if people want resources or just need support in getting connected to people and groups on campus.
Is there anything else people should know about InQueeries?
DR: The one thing people should know about us is that besides having so many things to come to, we’re so excited to expand our reach within the school. We are committed to expanding our community, the gay community, and the queer community. We are committed to expanding it and its reach and making sure that people know that we’re here and that we are a safe space and that no matter where you are, no matter where you are in your journey, you’re welcome. We are here with you, and we support you.
Learn more about InQueeries by following their Instagram page: @inqueeries.
Edited for length and clarity.
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