Tag: parade

JSU Students for Equality holds second annual Cocky Pride Parade

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JSU Students gather for a group picture at the 2nd Annual LGBTQ+ Cocky Pride Parade (Scott Young/The Chanticleer)

Scott Young, Staff Reporter

On Wednesday, October 17, Jacksonville State University students gathered in front of the TMB to participate in the 2nd Annual LGBTQ+ Cocky Pride Parade organized by the JSU Students for Equality.

With glowsticks in hand and rainbow flags flying, students marched around Trustee Circle in what many participants said was a proud demonstration of who they are.

“There was something richly fulfilling about that night,” said Anh Nguyen. “Being part of the small, yet rambunctious, crowd just celebrating everyone’s company.”

As folks marched around the circle, many students sang along to music and cheered as they marched confidently around campus. Among many, their reason for attending was to unapologetically show to the world that they are happy to be in the LGBT community.

“I believe that, in this day and age, it’s very important to express one’s sexuality to let people know that we are here and we’re not going anywhere,” said Matthew Reeves. “The expression of your sexuality is who you are; it’s your voice. We will not be erased, and we will not be silenced.”

JSU Students for Equality is an organization, according to the JSU website, that is “committed to diversity and inclusion through providing resources and advocacy for students from historically marginalized populations.”

Sandra Elliot, co-President of JSU Students for Equality encourages students to attend the show She Kills Monsters, where her organization will have a table for the event October 26 and October 29.

AOII brings Mardi Gras spirit to Jacksonville

Freshman AOII member, Brianna Winkles, smiles with Mardi Gras King 2018 Paul Hicks (Brianna Winkles/Facebook).

Nick AdrianStaff Writer

A bit of New Orleans made its way to Jacksonville this past week as JSU celebrated Mardi Gras culminating with its first ever Mardi Gras parade on Saturday, February 10.

The event was hosted by Alpha Omicron Pi to raise money for their philanthropy, Arthritis Research.

Mardi Gras is a thousands-of-years-old celebration that has roots in the Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia. Today, it is celebrated on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the Christian season of Lent—the 40 days preceding Easter. Mardi Gras festivities have gained particular notoriety in America in the post cities of New Orleans and Mobile, but the holiday is celebrated worldwide, including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, England, Canada and Denmark. In Brazil, it is known as Carnival, a weeklong festival of vibrant colors, elaborate costumes, dancing, eating, drinking and celebrating.

JSU’s celebrations started early in the week on February 5, which included spreading word for the parade, encouraging people to attend and giving out traditional favors like beads and MoonPies.

Alpha Omicron Pi created a Snapchat filter for the parade (Megan Harvey/Facebook).

“Planning this event was a blast,” AOII Philanthropy Chairman Hannah Blue said.  “I got to meet so many people and network with my peers and people in my community.”

Rain may have put a damper on the parade route, but it couldn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance.

The inaugural Mardi Gras parade began at 3 p.m. on Saturday, starting off at Bibb Graves Hall, traveling around Trustee Circle and concluding at the Alumni House. Miss JSU 2018 Lauren Reaves and Homecoming King and Queen 2017 Paris Coleman and Shea O’Donnell all braved the dreary weather to participate. There was also a Mardi Gras float and plenty of beads, candy and even more MoonPies.

When the parade was finished, the celebration continued with a red beans and rice dinner, raffles, prizes and a live jazz concert by members of the JSU Jazz program.

Students Bobbie Ann Oliver and Paul Hicks were crowned as JSU’s first ever Mardi Gras queen and king.

The event ultimately wound up raising over $9,000 for Arthritis Research, leading to an incredibly successful Mardi Gras celebration that will surely become an annual favorite on campus.

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Rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of these AOII sisters as they pose at the Mardi Gras themed photo booth following the parade on February 10 (Megan Harvey/Facebook).