The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC hosts first ever Pride flag raising ceremony to kickstart April

Claire Geriak
The newly raised pride flag flows outside of the Luria Library on April 4 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. This is the first time a pride flag has been raised on City College’s campus, and will remain up until the end of April.

Under a canopy of gray clouds and amidst the gentle patter of raindrops, a crowd of City College students, faculty, and staff convened on April 4 at the Luria Library patio to observe the Pride flag raising ceremony. The first in City College history.

The event unfolded with speeches from Selena Martinez, student program advisor at the Center for Equity and Social Justice (CESJ) and Superintendent-President Erika Endrijonas as the Pride flag ascended, offering a vibrant contrast to the gloomy early morning weather.

Although Pride month is nationally recognized during the month of June, according to Jordan Killebrew, the executive director of public affairs and communications, April has become the time when community colleges have begun to celebrate due to spring semesters typically ending in mid-May.

Jordan Killebrew serves Trustee Charlotte Gullap-Moore a slice of pride cake to celebrate the newfound pride flag on City College’s campus on April 4 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Many other faculty, staff and students, including Board of Trustees President Jonathan Abboud, attended in support of the ceremony to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community at City College. (Claire Geriak)

“There’s not really an opportunity to make folks that identify as LGBTQ+ feel that they’re part of something,” Killebrew said regarding school ending prior to Pride month.

The term “gaypril,” a term coined by Endrijonas, is being used to combat this lack of opportunity for celebration mentioned by Killebrew in order to highlight and honor members of the LGBTQ+ community during the actual school year.

“Gaypril has become like a community college thing for colleges that end in May to honor and acknowledge this community,” Killebrew said. “It’s just really important to highlight our commitment to our LGBTQ+ community and also [show] that we’re going to continue to be welcoming, open and just an accepting campus.”

The vibrant Pride flag can be found on the Luria Library patio alongside a flag of the United States.

“The flag is just as big as the current flags that are up, so it’s not a small like, ‘Oh, here’s just a little, you know, something,’” Martinez said. “It’s making a stand-in like, ‘we’re here, and we’re queer.’”

Martinez and Endrijonas’ speeches highlighted the symbolic meaning behind the event, revealing the importance of creating a welcoming, safe space for students on campus despite an individual’s background or identification.

“Regardless of your identity or how you represent yourself, this is your campus,” Martinez said.

As Martinez and Endrijonas wrapped up their speeches, Martinez led a small group of peers as the flag was raised–lighting up the dreary sky with a wave of vibrant rainbow hues.

“It’s not just a flag,” Endrijonas said during her speech. “It represents acceptance, understanding, and the right to be oneself without fear of discrimination.” 

Erika Endrijonas preaches to the City College community during the pride flag raising ceremony on April 4 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. “It’s not just a flag,” Endrijonas said. “It represents acceptance, understanding and the right to be oneself without fear of discrimination.” (Claire Geriak)

Story continues below advertisement
More to Discover