Inclusivity lounges create community

Multicultural Lounge
Students spend time with one another in the Multicultural Lounge in Iowa Hall. PHOTO BY SHAELY ODEAN

As students began filtering back onto campus with the start of the fall semester, one particularly noticeable change was apparent – the renovation of Iowa Hall brought many new perks; along with those came community-oriented lounges. 

Now hosting a Pride Lounge, Multicultural Lounge and Veterans Lounge students are finding increased opportunities to connect with one another. 

On most days, students can be found playing games together and making casual conversation in the lounges. However, students who spend time in the Multicultural Lounge note that they’ve had many important dialogues about heavy topics. And, the Pride Lounge serves as the meeting space for Kirkwood’s Pride Club every Tuesday. 

Brynn Garner-Prouty, a music and computer science transfer student, touched on the Pride Lounge’s ability to create a safe space. 

“I feel a lot less pressure to perform a certain way or to hide who I am when I’m with other people who are the same as me,” said Garner-Prouty. 

The different lounges’ functions as inclusive spaces has also been instrumental to building tight bonds between students. “Our whole friend group right now, it’s mostly people that we’ve met here, and then as time went on, we just became friends,” added one student from the Multicultural Lounge. “It regrouped so many people from different backgrounds, different cultures, different races, and it’s fun,” they added. 

For others, knowing that the other people around them have had similar life experiences is valuable, as well. One student in the Veterans Lounge offered that, “It sort of does connect you with people that are like-minded, people you’re more familiar with.” 

For those who take advantage of Kirkwood’s new inclusive spaces they believe the rooms have fulfilled their purpose. 

During a time when coming together is highly valued the Pride Lounge, Multicultural Lounge and Veterans Lounge work to achieve that.

Image courtesy of Shaely Odean

Categories: Feature