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Shepherdstown, WV—Shepherd University’s ALLIES and Program Board raised $2,053 in the 10th annual drag show on Friday, April 11 in the Student Center Storer Ballroom.
More than 300 students and community members attended the event and made donations to Community Networks, Inc., a non-profit organization in Martinsburg, which provides housing and services for HIV patients in the area.
(A full house of audiences, photo from Katherine Coleman)
(A performer of the night, photo from Katherine Coleman)
Seven performers, including three Shepherd students, presented a two-hour diverse program and donated all their tips to Community Networks, Inc.
Nicholas Etheridge, vice president of ALLIES, said the drag show is the second largest charity event after Relay for Life and has become a tradition on campus each year.
According to Etheridge, Aaron Burgess, alumnus of Shepherd and ALLIES, started the drag show 10 years ago. When it started, Burgess was one of the outstanding male performers in the show and has come back to perform several times after his graduation.
Beyond the success of the drag show, ALLIES has been a support group for student activists on issues of gender, sexual orientation, and race.
Etheridge said, “There are people who have different expressions of gender, sexuality, and race, … and [ALLIES] provides them a place to get together and not feel alone.”
To provide a safe place on campus for the LGBTQ community, ALLIES has worked closely with Residence Life, Multicultural Student Affairs, and the Division of Student Affairs.
(Thanks to Program Board and ALLIES brought a fantastic night to Shepherd! Photo from Katherine Coleman)
Shepherd has provided several gender-inclusive bathrooms in the residence halls. With help from MSA, a LGBTQ resource center has been established in the basement of Gardiner Hall for anyone who seeks books and media or a public safe place on campus to have a private conversation.
After years of effort providing services and support on campus, Etheridge said ALLIES has helped many individuals to feel comfortable and safe to reveal their genders or sexualities to friends and families.
After a long exhausting morning full of classes, you want a break from a pile of textbooks, a 20-page paper, or a math problem. You know at this moment all you want is a place to relax, and here is how we do it at Shepherd:
1. Lunch time coffeehouse concert
After a full morning of lecture, you can enjoy a salad or a sandwich for lunch with your best friends and listen to some live music.
2. Meditation Monday
Stress can slow down your productivity or even ruin your relationships with others. Giving yourself some alone time by mediating might be just what you need.
3. Cozy common room with a group of friends
College is a place to meet life-long friends. After your morning classes, head back to your residence hall and spend a couple hours playing board games or chatting with your fellow Rams.
4. Dozing next to the Fireside Bistro
What is better than sinking in a comfy couch and reading one of your favorite books? Our students choose the Fireside Bistro a place to hangout, to read books, to nap, or to do homework. It gets better when you see the flame sparks in the fireplace.
5. Shepherdstown downtown German Street
Don’t miss going for a walk on German Street in the oldest town in West Virginia. Located right next to the campus, downtown Shepherdstown offers a variety of restaurants and eclectic shops.