The Pride colours are painted on the sidewalk in the Bowl at the Saskatoon campus of the University of Saskatchewan.
The University of Saskatchewan (USask) community celebrates Pride, during June and every month of the year. (Photo: USask)

USask celebrates Pride: Building a brighter future together

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) celebrates Pride during June and every month of the year. Take time to connect, commemorate and celebrate Pride, and join us as we continue to work to make our campus community a safe and supportive place for all students, staff, faculty, alumni, and visitors.

Kseniah Pidskalny is the co-ordinator of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU) Pride Centre. To her, Pride is a time to celebrate where we are going, but also to remember the hardships and challenges still experienced by the 2SLGBTQIA+ community today.

Kseniah Pidskalny is the co-ordinator of the USSU Pride Centre.
Kseniah Pidskalny is the co-ordinator of the USSU Pride Centre.

Pidskalny said an important part of Pride is to recognize that being an ally for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community needs to happen every month of the year, in order to build a brighter future together. She said small acts, like taking the time to access educational resources on your own time, can make all the difference in making someone who identifies in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community feel welcome and safe.

“When it’s easy to be an ally, it’s easy to show up for the queer community,” said Pidskalny. “But it’s a lot harder to stand up for those people when you’re not getting anything out of it and not participating in a fun event.”

Pidskalny is entering her last year in USask’s Edwards School of Business, where she is majoring in human resources – a major that allows her to bring her real-world experience as a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to the forefront.

“I spent so much of my time in the last year connecting with people and not only has my major helped with this job [at the Pride Centre], but this job has helped with my major significantly, in terms of being able to truly figure out what the best ways are to train people on 2SLGBTQIA+ perspectives,” she said. “I’ve learned the best way to incorporate it is by existing in that world and by talking to people about their experiences.”

USask engineering undergraduate student Yana Dasgupta said that as a transgender woman and person of colour, she encounters daily the struggles faced by those in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community today.

“We need our allies by our side so that we can work towards a more inclusive future,” said Dasgupta. “To me, Pride means living my most authentic self with fearlessness and working to create a better environment for other 2SLGBTQIA+ people.”

Dasgupta said this year’s Pride festivities will mark her first time attending Pride Month events.

“It means a lot to me [to attend] now that I feel comfortable being my authentic self,” said Dasgupta. “I would recommend all allies be part of events and seek out resources to better understand the struggles of queer and trans people.”

Building an inclusive university community

Guided by the University Plan 2025, USask’s ambition is to be the university the world needs, and the world needs safe and welcoming spaces for everyone.

“During Pride month, the USask community reflects on what it means to be a university that brings life to the principles of diversity, equality, human dignity, and manācihitowin,” said Dr. Airini, provost and vice-president academic. “Across all months, USask stands for inclusion and diversity, and acknowledges the injustices that many in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community have faced, and still face. As a campus community, USask is committed to taking the actions necessary to create the change that we want for our university and for our society.”

The university is committed to taking part in active learning about the history and current challenges that exist for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and will continue to pursue learning and active participation in building a more inclusive world for all.

“Pride is a time of celebration, but it is also about advocacy, activism, and the continued pursuit of social justice,” said Dr. Patti McDougall (PhD), USask’s deputy provost and equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lead in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic. “I encourage everyone to take time to find resources and to learn and reflect on how we can work together to foster a safe and inclusive campus for all.”

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) community celebrates Pride, during June and every month of the year. (Photo: USask)
The University of Saskatchewan (USask) community celebrates Pride, during June and every month of the year. (Photo: USask)

USask Pride events and initiatives

The intersex inclusive Pride flag and the two-spirit flag will fly in USask’s Nobel Plaza in front of the Peter MacKinnon Building during Pride Month, under a rainbow of lights that will illuminate the front of the building.

New USask Pride-themed merchandise is available at Shop USask, with a portion of the proceeds going to the USask Queer Housing initiative, an opportunity open to all queer students to live in a queer-specific community within USask Residence. Take time to peruse the University Library’s unique Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity, a collection of published materials including books (both fiction and non-fiction), periodicals, and videos that cover many aspects of the history and literature of sexual and gender diversity.

The Saskatoon Pride Festival is June 9-18, with Regina Queen City Pride celebrated from June 2-11 and Prince Albert Pride Week taking place May 28 until June 4.

Learn more about Pride at USask.

Together we will support and inspire students to succeed. We invite you to join by supporting current and future students' needs at USask.