As students of Saint Joseph’s University, we are surrounded by a beautiful campus and the city of Philadelphia; although even more beautiful are the people and the culture in which we dwell amongst. Liam Browne and Maggie Nealon are two incredible SJU students who embody the qualities of kindness, acceptance, and love, all of which they express in their leadership of the SJU PRIDE Community, an organization which seeks to provide a haven for students in the SJU Community who thrive on spreading love and peace amongst those on campus. 

As a freshman just beginning his SJU journey, Liam sought comfort from the SJU PRIDE Community in November and began as a club member. Sophomore year, though he took on a leadership role as E-board Co-Leader and as a current senior is the publicist for this organization. On the other hand, Maggie, who is the president of SJU PRIDE, began attending meetings and participating in the club her sophomore year of college and not long after became the secretary in her junior year. 

SJU PRIDE members Liam Browne, Maggie Nealon, Maggie Mallison, and Stephanie Zellner hanging out in the PRIDE lounge in the Center for Inclusion and Diversity (CID) Photo taken by Chelsea Evans

Together the two could agree that making this decision was a brave one, putting themselves in a potentially vulnerable position, but did so for the benefit of everyone who experiences what they do on a daily basis, and who need people to understand and relate to providing friendship and security. SJU PRIDE has the incredible capability of making everyone feel safe being who they truly are, and gives each member a way to express themselves openly and without judgement. “…It’s important to have this atmosphere so you can be with people who are just like you and really share your experiences,” said Liam. 

Maggie and Liam expressing their feelings about SJU Pride and what the community means to them. They express how they impact the SJU PRIDE community through events, and bringing those of the LGBTQIA+ family together as a whole. Video by Chelsea Evans.

Maggie too has expressed her hope to spread the visibility of SJU PRIDE as a strong standing community who will remain on campus even during those hard times when faced with difficulty. 

Social Media post by Chelsea Evans

Both members are also looking forward to attending Philadelphia’s Annual Outfest, and opportunity for those in school and in PRIDE, but also without the Philadelphia neighborhood and beyond to come together as one, people share their common values and experiences. Maggie and Liam both serve as an inspiration to more people than they know as they stand together and encourage others to do the same. Both individuals love the way in which we all should, openly, whole-heartedly, and proud. We could all learn to take a chapter from their book. 

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