An interview with Spectrum, Radford’s LGBTQ+ organization

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By Amy Hall | ahall135@radford.edu 

Spectrum is the only Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and others (LGBTQ+) organization on campus, whose primary goal is to provide a safe environment for LGBTQ+ students and allies. Spectrum seeks to create a family and support system that some students may not have due to their identity.

Spectrum normalizes and empowers Radford’s students with campus-wide activities.

Events hosted by Spectrum are inclusive to all Radford students, with the club working hard to create a sense of community and respect.

During the fall semester, the club hosts a prom for those who could not attend with the person they wanted, the gender they identified as, or couldn’t afford to attend.

Under the club’s president, Shaun Ficadenti, Spectrum has gotten single-stall gender-neutral bathrooms into CHBS, McConnell Library, all dorms and several other buildings on campus. Spectrum is currently working towards obtaining multi-stalled gender-neutral bathrooms in every building which is a significant step toward to making transgender and non-binary students feel safer.

Another project the club is working on is gender-neutral housing. An issue some students face are roommates who do not accept their identity being expressed.

To take preventative measures, Spectrum has been working toward an inclusive form for housing. Students would be able to request not to be placed in co-ed dorms and would also be able to mark themselves as allies (meaning that they are a heterosexual person that supports the LGBTQ+ community). Those students would go on to be roommates for those that requested alternative housing.

“They’re still working the kinks out,” says Vice President, Tori Montanez, “but the gender-neutral housing should be available starting next semester.”

Montanez feels very strongly toward the club’s atmosphere of comradery. Having moved from her family and friends in Maryland, Montanez sought out an organization that would take her in.

“It felt like they really wanted to know me,” she said. “Spectrum is willing to make you part of a family.” Allies are encouraged to come show their support for the LGBTQ+ movement. “They are making the community a safer place to be in,” Montanez said.

Spectrum as we know it started two years ago.

At first, there were three LGBT+ organizations: Trans Plus, The Gay-Straight Alliance, and Spectrum. Over time, membership for all three clubs began to dwindle. The presidents of those clubs were graduating and left the clubs at the feet of one president, Shawn Ficadenti.

Ficadenti decided to combined all three clubs under one name, Spectrum.

Lastly, Pride Week is coming up, and of course, Spectrum has events planned:

  • Sunday, April 22 there will be the Lavender Graduation, to remember those students who could not walk with their straight counterparts at their graduations.
  • Monday, April 23 is a Feild Day on Moffitt lawn.
  • Tuesday, April 24 comedian Allison Grillo will be performing at the Bonnie.
  • Wednesday, April 25 there will be a selfie scavenger hunt for members of Spectrum in Russell Hall room 007.
  • Thursday, April 26 Spectrum will be playing the movie ‘Saturday Church’ in the Bonnie Auditorium.
  • Friday, April 27 will be Pride day, where students can complete with a campus inclusive drag show at Peter’s Hall.

Students interested in Spectrum can email them at spectrum@radford.edu.