GSRC hosts annual CookOUT event

LGBTQ students and allies gathered in the backyard of Horan Hall for the annual CookOUT event, welcoming incoming LGBTQ students


Photo by Owyn Peters

Nothing like a friendly face to wave you over!

Last Thursday, the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center held the annual CookOUT event in the backyard of Horan Hall to support and celebrate inclusivity in the LGBTQ community here on campus and in the city of Eau Claire, according to the UW-Eau Claire website.

“The CookOUT is an event whose purpose, quite simply, is to welcome all new and returning LGBTQIA+ students, faculty and staff to campus,” Chris Jorgenson, the director of the GRSC, said.

The GSRC holds many events throughout the academic year, Jorgenson said. This was the second of many events the GSRC hosts throughout the year, Jorgenson said. Their first event was Sex Signals.

UW-Eau Claire has been ranked No. 3 nationally and No. 1 statewide for inclusion of the LGBTQ community under his leadership, according to the UW-Eau Claire website.

Cas Henthrone, a GSRC intern, said she holds a lot of love for this kick-off event and feels everyone is welcome regardless of whether they’re a part of the LGBTQ community or not.

“Eau Claire is very accepting,” she said. “I love that the campus especially is so supportive and helpful.”

Many organizations around campus and in the community boothed at the CookOUT, whether they were directly related the the LGBTQ community or not, Henthrone said.

Those present at the event included Chippewa Valley LGBTQ Community Center, freaQweek, Student Senate, Student Advocates for Sexual Assault Surviors, University Activities Commision and the UW-Eau Claire Fraternity to just name a few, she said.

Henthrone said attending the event is a good opportunity for everyone to get to know the resources and people on campus who are in support of the LGBTQ community.

“It’s something everyone looks forward to,” she said. “Getting to be openly queer is not something a lot of people get the chance to be before they hit college. This being the first event of the year for most is a really big deal.”

Jenna Erickson can be reached at [email protected]