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UU and UCU will have their own boat at Utrecht Canal Pride

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The UU’s pink workgroup and the students of the Queer Alliance at University College Utrecht will participate in the Utrecht Canal Pride for the first time this year. The employees and students who started the initiative to ride along, have managed to find sufficient funding to share a boat.

Read in Dutch

March was an exciting month for the students of the Queer Alliance of University College Utrecht and the employees of the pink workgroup at Utrecht University. Both parties signed up (nl) for the Utrecht Canal Pride, independently from each other. The Utrecht Canal Pride is the smaller sibling of the famous Amsterdam boat parade, the Canal Parade. And although the organization put them on the list of participants, it remained, for a long time, uncertain whether they’d be able to actually join. The whole thing could still come to nothing if they couldn’t find financing for their boats before April 1st.

‘Important to show your diverse side as a university’
The people behind the initiatives at the UU and UCU explicitly turned to the university. Johan Rozenbrand, pharmacy teacher and member of the pink workgroup: “As Utrecht’s biggest employer, and a place where many young people study, it’s important to show your diverse side. The boat parade is an excellent way to do so, because it’s an event that draws a huge crowd. So we’re going to see whether there’s a budget or funds available within the UU that we can use.”

And they succeeded. The Taskforce Diversity gave the two parties a budget to share one boat together, and the university’s communication department is adding to that budget. “It was very nerve-wracking because we only had a month to come up with the funds,” Rozenbrand says. “But the Taskforce Diversity was able to give us an answer quickly, and we’re incredibly happy with that!” Ella, a student from the Queer Alliance, agrees that the past month was nerve-wracking. “It was heartwarming to receive the confirmation that the university supports our plan. Truly overwhelming.”

Professor’s hat in rainbow colors
Still, not all costs for the joint UU and UCU boat are covered with the funds provided by the university. Both parties will have to ask the hundred people joining them on the boat (fifty from the UU and fifty from UCU) for a financial contribution. In order to keep the amount as small as possible for the UCU students and employees, the Queer Alliance is organizing fundraising activities in the run-up to the Canal Pride. The sale of rainbow bracelets, pride tote bags and cakes will hopefully raise around 750 euros.

The decoration of the boat will also be done in a fun, frivolous way, Rozenbrand and Ella say. One idea is to wear professor’s hats in rainbow colors. “But we haven’t quite decided yet,” Rozenbrand says, laughing.

Students and employees who want to ride along on the UCU and UU boat on June 16, can sign up with either party from early next month. The link to the sign-up form will be shared through several channels. The pink workgroup also received 500 euros from the Taskforce Diversity to organize other related activities, such as lectures and workshops.

Translation: Indra Spronk

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