News Center Maine covers pride flag raising for National Coming Out Week

News Center Maine covered a pride flag raising at the University of Maine on Oct. 7 to kick off Coming Out Week. The event was the first in a weeklong series of on-campus events in advance of National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11. Robert Dana, vice president for student life and dean of students; Rob Jackson, staff associate for diversity and inclusion; and Jane Pappas, a graduate assistant at the Rainbow Resource Center; gave remarks before the flag raising. “We are very lucky to be on a very accepting campus. We have full support on administration,” said Pappas. “We believe every student has a home here at the university, and this is one of the places where students find a sense of connection,” said Dana. “I think we’re really lucky here in Orono, I think the community itself is incredibly supportive,” said Jackson. “I think whenever the community comes together for Pride Week, Coming Out Week, any of these celebrations, or when something tragic happens, the first question we get is, ‘How can we help?’ ‘What do we need?’” Before unveiling the flag, Jackson paused to remember those who were victims because of their identity, according to the report. “The work still needs to be done in terms of providing equality for these folks, but I think more and more we’re seeing representations on campuses in businesses, in the media of those folks who for so long have been silenced and not felt that they had a voice,” Jackson said.