NewsPRISM hosts Second Chance Prom

PRISM hosts Second Chance Prom

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(Photos/Huey Turlich)

PRISM hosted its Second Chance Prom on March 5, giving all students another opportunity to experience the magic of prom. 

The event took place in the Thad Cochran Center in room 216. Southern Miss’s PRISM office hosted the event as a night for students in the LGBTQIA+ community and other students to experience prom their way and without restrictions, they might have faced in high school. 

“We did this event because we feel like with COVID and with former restrictions of not being able to have gender expression, that we would present a second prom so that we would have our LGBTQ students have the freedom to be themselves,” Coordinator of Prism Wes Shaffer said.

Shaffer dances along other students at the Second Chance prom, an event aiming to give all students an opportunity to get a prom their way.

The night featured plenty of music, dancing, entertainment and food with a positive turnout of students that enjoyed the event.

“The decorations were really pretty, the food was great, the performers were amazing,” sophomore Trinady Moore said. “I was entertained and I was fed…I just felt like I was able to make a connection on campus with this problem and it was just a great experience.”

“I personally didn’t get a prom because of COVID…so I saw so many people here [with] so much diversity in terms of both queer life and both racial demographics, so it was great to see everyone who normally probably wouldn’t be able to bring their own queer date to their own high schools here to have a second chance at their own beautiful moment,” freshman Andrew Le said.

PRISM seeks to be a safe place for the LGBTQIA+ community here at the University of Southern Mississippi.

PRISM, a part of the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement, hosts a multitude of events with that goal in mind. 

“The goal of the Second Chance prom was just for us to learn how to have some fun, live a little, loosen up a little, and also take up space on this campus where we haven’t really had the recognition before,” Shaffer said. “I really want our students to learn to be loud and be proud and take up more space.”

A highlight of the prom was the performances by the drag queens. Moore stated that this was her favorite part of the night. 

“They just brought it. It was so much fun. I’ve never personally seen a drag show before [or] drag queens before, so just seeing them a few feet away from me was amazing,” Moore said.

Shaffer hopes that events like these can help bring the LGBTQIA+ community together. 

“In the past years, there has even been discrimination within the LGBTQ community. And for me, the biggest thing is I want to make sure that we’re having a community of care where everyone we meet, we can learn something from and then also to make sure that we’re getting ourselves out there, creating a followership, and then, just being ourselves is huge in general,” Shaffer said.

For more information follow PRISM on social media @southernmissprism or contact the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement email at ime@usm.edu.

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