Sam Whitaker ‘18, Promoting Pride at Keene State
by Danny Stavens
Hailing from Lebanon, New Hampshire, Keene State College senior Sam Whitaker has recently been re-elected for a second term as Keene State College’s Pride president. Pride is Keene State College’s gay/straight alliance that provides support and resources for its members. Since arriving at Keene, Sam has been very involved with the student organization, serving one term as treasurer and another term as president. During his initial presidential term, Sam worked with his fellow board members to organize a new event, called the Pride Prom. Sam’s work is part of the College’s commitment to supporting students and cultivating a diverse environment.
“It’s an opportunity for students to have a second chance at their prom experience,” Sam explained. “Many members of the LGBT community can’t go to their high school prom with their preferred partner, or they even aren’t allowed to attend. The Pride Prom at Keene State is our organization’s way of giving these students the opportunity they always wanted.” During his upcoming term as Pride’s president, Sam is looking to raise awareness of this event. His goal is to create a free environment where individuals can simply dance and be true to themselves.
Joining Pride has allowed Sam to really shape his college experience. “The organization showed me that there is another side to college, other than classes and living in a residential hall,” Sam commented. “Pride gave me the opportunities to really explore my own identity and advocate for a community for which I am passionate.”
Sam also found that becoming involved with a student organization has helped him develop a set of skills that apply to his career ambitions. Some of the skills he listed included leadership, interacting within a team, and problem solving. Upon graduating, Sam plans to pursue a career in higher education while focusing on his passion for writing.
“If I could give any advice to future Keene State College students, I would tell them to become as involved as possible. Find an organization that you are passionate about, because it will provide you with opportunities to learn about yourself, grow as a student, and personalize your college experience.”
Danny Stavens is a senior at Keene State from Tolland, CT, majoring in both communication and film. After he graduates, he plans to pursue a career as a producer in the film industry.