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Athlete Ally Chapter Launches at Marist

By: Daniella Inzerilli

Athlete Ally is a national nonprofit organization that aims to create and build an inclusive environment in sports on all levels: collegiate, Olympic and professional. The goal is to promote a positive environment for all athletes in the LGBT community and foster allyship among those involved including athletes, coaches, administrators, staff and fans. SGA’s Executive Vice President of the Student Body, Ed Oser, who helped bring Athlete Ally to Marist, said, “After SGA’s trip to Duke University last fall, and speaking with members of Duke’s own chapter of Athlete Ally, I knew that was something I wanted to start here at Marist.” Athlete Ally sponsors college chapters across the country at institutions such as Duke University, Cornell University, Fordham University, etc. and provides resources and contacts to help generate new chapters.

Having an Athlete Ally chapter at Marist is extremely important because while our athletics environment does promote positivity for our students, there is no campus advocate for our LGBT athletes or fans, ensuring an inclusive atmosphere for all. Each Athlete Ally college chapter is encouraged to make improvements specific to that college, and for Marist, it was decided that our athletics culture would be our central focus. We plan to do this by hosting events and workshops, evaluating Marist College policies, hosting Pride Games, creating and providing educational resources for our athletes and fans, and collaborating with other groups on campus.

With Marist’s chapter of Athlete Ally in its infancy, SGA is trying to get anyone passionate about this issue involved! The key is fostering the allyship on campus and that means anyone can join and help out, regardless of whether or not they identify with the LGBT community. Our chapter hopes to build an inclusive environment with the help of athletes and fans for all those involved in our athletic community.

Visit Athlete Ally for more information.