COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team will be walking in the Vermont Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday in Burlington for the third year in a row, and is anchoring a sizable contingent of participating Purple Knight student-athletes that includes the women's basketball, women's ice hockey, women's lacrosse, Alpine skiing and men's and women's swimming & diving programs.
The walk begins at 12:30 p.m. at the south end of Church Street and ends at Battery Park, where the festival is held. The Purple Knight student-athletes and the Saint Michael's Center for Women and Gender are walking together and encourage members of the student body, faculty and staff to join them. Pride Vermont, which organizes the festival, aims to celebrate and support Vermont's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community of all ages, to educate, and to act as a bridge to create alliances with each other and with the greater community as a whole. To learn more and see how you can get involved, visit here.
One of the Purple Knights' goals in participating in the Pride Parade is to continue supporting the mission of the You Can Play Project, which works to ensure the safety and inclusion of LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans in sports. The theme of this year's Pride Parade and Festival is "Our Story, Our Lives," and the Purple Knights are piggybacking on that by creating signs echoing You Can Play Project's "If You Can Play, You Can Play" mantra.
"This is who Saint Michael's is, we're an open and accepting community, but not only that, we're an encouraging community," said men's ice hockey junior William Santangeli (Oakville, Ontario/Saint Mark's School), the driving force behind the College's student-athlete involvement in the event the past two years. His team wore "SK8 DON'T H8" T-shirts to the parade and festival in 2017 and received positive feedback from community members, who in turn supported them during their season. "It was good for other people to see this is the community we're fostering at Saint Michael's. It's an ever-growing thing, and we're trying to by an ally for the LGBTQ+ community and do the best we can to support members of that community." Santangeli encourages campus community members who are interested in joining them this year to contact him at email@example.com.