The newly re-activated group Pride Student Veterinary Medical Community (PrideSVMC), formerly known as Broad Spectrum, reinstated its presence at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine last semester in March 2022 after students returned to island for in-person learning. The Ross Vet student chapter of the broader organization Pride Veterinary Medical Community, PrideSVMC aspires to bring all people together in hopes of educating, inspiring and supporting within the community.
Embracing differences and creating an accepting, safe environment are priorities for the group’s executive board, which includes Dylan Hendrick, Ariana Manikas, Francesca Moreno, Aerielle Moss, Anastasia Parashis and Chrishell Marble.
“Our goal as a club is to provide social opportunities for our members, especially younger semesters who are trying to make more friends or may need support in an aspect of their identity other than a veterinary student. Also, we want to bring awareness and encourage education on LGBTQ topics.” said Manikas, PrideSVMC’s president.
Along with Manikas’ role with PrideSVMC, she is the chapter secretary of RUSVM’s World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA). Being parts of group like these help her pursue her passion of working with marine life while also having a group of peers that support them outside of the veterinary medical student identity. Having the opportunity to find empowering communities like these is something Manikas hopes for all RUSVM students, which is why she was one of the original students to start up the PrideSVMC organization at Ross Vet.
Manikas, originally from New York, identifies as she/her, they/them and says that having members of the Ross Vet community including their pronouns in their email signatures is a simple way to support the group’s goals and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. They hope to further educate the Ross Vet community by hosting educational events and discussions.
Recently, the group has also connected with St. Kitts Alliance, local LGBT organization, and they look forward to being more involved in the community, participating in an upcoming Pride Month event, and having the Alliance host an event in the future.
“Pride Month is a chance to celebrate differences in people and destigmatizing people’s orientation. It’s an opportunity to educate others,” said Manikis.