KPU’s Pride-colour pillar at its Civic Plaza campus in downtown Surrey. (submitted photo)

KPU’s Pride-colour pillar at its Civic Plaza campus in downtown Surrey. (submitted photo)

Pride-coloured pillars permanently painted at KPU’s plaza campus in Surrey

‘Pride @ KPU’ website details a campus-wide initiative

Kwantlen Polytechnic University campuses will be more rainbow-coloured this summer.

“Progress Pride” flags or colours are being painted on crosswalks at the Surrey and Langley campuses, pillars at Civic Plaza, a pathway at Cloverdale’s KPU Tech a staircase at the Richmond campus.

Painting work began last week at downtown Surrey’s Civic Plaza, where the eleven Pride colours were painted on pillars above and below the KPU sign. The paint is permanent, according to Sucheta Singh, media relations rep.

“These pillars, crosswalks, pathways, and staircases represent a public commitment by KPU to diversity and inclusion, to creating a safe, welcoming and supportive environment where 2SLGBTQ+ folx and people of all genders and sexualities feel they belong and are respected,” stated Shalini Vanan, Pride Advocacy Group (PAG) co-chair and KPU’s manager of Sport, Recreation and Health Promotion.

“Painting concrete doesn’t in itself achieve this environment, but it sets up an expectation and a promise, a pledge, an invitation and an obligation to do the work we need to do to make it a reality,” added Romy Kozak, also PAG co-chair, and director of diversity at KPU.

The goal of better representing and serving all 2SLGBTQ+ people “is reflected in the choice of the Progress Pride flag design, which Daniel Quasar created by adding a chevron of black, brown, light blue, light pink and white to the six rainbow stripes of Gilbert Baker’s LGBTQ flag,” according to a KPU news release.

“Quasar included this arrow shape to acknowledge the forward movement that has already occurred, and the progress still to be made to fully welcome and support trans and non-binary individuals, people marginalized because of race or colour, as well as those living with, and lost to, AIDS.”

Meantime, a “Pride @ KPU” website ( details a campus-wide initiative that aims to provide safer and more inclusive spaces for people of all genders and sexualities.

KPU is also working to offer more trans- and non-binary friendly documentation processes for students and is moving towards making gender-neutral washrooms more accessible on campuses.

• In other KPU news, Randall Heidt has been appointed vice-president, External Affairs, replacing Marlyn Graziano, who retires from KPU on July 16. Heidt will also work closely with the KPU Foundation Board in advance of also taking on the role of chief executive officer of the KPU Foundation.

Heidt was most recently vice-president, Strategic Initiatives, at North Island College (NIC). Prior to that, Heidt served as executive director, External Relations, at the College of New Caledonia. Previously, he was city editor of the Prince George Citizen daily newspaper.

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