A.S. President Cody Barbo’s remarks from the 2011 Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony

Today, San Diego State University held the fourth annual Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony to kick-off San Diego LGBT Pride week. Along with a number of other speakers, Associated Students President Cody Barbo spoke at the event. His remarks follow:

A.S. President Cody Barbo addresses the large crowd that gathered to watch SDSU's Fourth annual Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony.

Thank you, Dr. Bruce.

This week is about celebration … celebrating those who have come before us to help make SDSU an inclusive campus that educates and develops all students and welcomes all faculty and staff.

We are celebrating a new chapter in San Diego State’s history, as Dr. Elliot Hirshman took over as President of San Diego State University last week.

I am so pleased that Mrs. Jeri Hirshman, one of the newest members of the Aztec family, is able to join us here today. Her being here today already speaks volumes to the commitment that the Hirshman’s have to the diversity that we have so long celebrated here at SDSU.

Again, thank you for being here Mrs. Hirshman.

It is an honor to be here on behalf of SDSU students and to have SDSU’s Rainbow Flag Raising Ceremony be a part of the San Diego Pride kick-off a week off events that are the highlight of the year for the LGBT community.

My name is Cody Barbo and I am the Associated Students President.  It is a privilege to speak to you today on behalf of the nearly 30,000 students of San Diego State University celebrating pride, celebrating diversity, and celebrating you!

As San Diego gears up for this weekend’s 37th anniversary of Pride, it is interesting to reflect on the contributions that San Diego State students have made on San Diego’s Pride movement over the years.

The Aztec Center, which served as San Diego State’s student union from 1968 until this past May, was home to much LGBT activism during its 43-year run as the hub of student life here on campus.

The Gay Liberation Front was a small but vocal organization that was founded at San Diego State in 1970 and did most of its organizing out of meeting rooms in the Aztec Center.

The group, which disbanded only a few years after its founding, was responsible for organizing what some consider to be the first Pride event in San Diego in 1970, which was called the “Gay-In” and held at Presidio Park.

Even though just over 100 people showed up that year, it was a monumental accomplishment for that time as it was the first time that LGBT people in San Diego had a public celebration to freely express themselves. The GLF also laid the foundation for what would eventually become San Diego’s now large and vibrant LGBT Community Center.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Student Union, which was formed in 1975 as the “Gay Student Union”, has also been an active part of campus and community organizing, working hard to make sure that safe spaces have existed on campus for LGBT students.

Cody assisted Dr. Aaron Bruce and Chanelle McNutt as they hoisted the flag.

The group, which also has been centered out of the Aztec Center since its founding, has clearly had an impact on San Diego State’s recent designation as one the “Top 20 LGBT Friendly” campuses in the nation.

I am proud of the work that my fellow students, current and past, have done to make SDSU a better community that is supportive of diversity and equality for all.

I am also very excited that the new Aztec Student Union, slated to open in Fall 2013, will include a number of student service facilities that the campus has lacked for many years, including: a larger multi-cultural center, a women’s center, AND a permanent LGBT center, which will serve the needs of the large and vibrant LGBT community that studies and works here.

Associated Students is so pleased to be able to offer space for these important communities to come together, organize, learn, and celebrate.

As this week’s celebration of “Pride Around the World” begins, I encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on how far we have come at San Diego State, in California, and across the nation and world in the struggle for equality, while keeping in mind the work that still needs to be done to ensure that everyone has a safe place to live, work, study, and live their lives freely.

Happy Pride, San Diego!

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2 Comments

  1. BEAUTIFULLY STATED—-YOU MAKE ME PROUD!

  2. CODY;
    AWESOME JOB !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AUNT DINK


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