New LGBTQIA RSO, DAISE, created this semester

DAISE aims to create space for education and acceptance surrounding sexuality and identity

As of March 23, DAISE is an official Registered Student Organization at Ferris. It is an organization focused on providing education and safe spaces for anyone who is struggling with their identity.

Social work sophomore Al Alley and Digital Animation and Game Design freshman Sherlyn Trejo-Villegas are the co-founders of DAISE. The name is an acronym that stands for ‘Diversity, Advocacy for Identity and Sexual Empowerment.’ They aim to make this an organization that can offer education and socialization for all identities on campus with a focus on the queer community.

Although the organization just started, it already has around 15 members, and with their first event hosting around 40 people, they are sure to grow quickly.

“One of the biggest goals of this RSO is I wanted to build more solidarity between groups and really create a safe space for LGBTQIA folks, as well as a system of support,” DAISE President Alley said. “I saw that there was a need for an LGBTQIA+ RSO on campus… DAISE will focus on the socialization, education and advocacy of marginalized communities.”

The leaders of DAISE are trying to strike a balance between being a social club and educational organization.

“As important as it is to be educating about what goes on in the LGBTQ community, its also important too for there to be a social aspect,” Trejo-Villegas said. “Sometimes students need spaces in which you can just relax and have fun.”

The first DAISE event was more focused on the social aspect with games, food and time to socialize with the other attendees.

“I came to the event because I wanted to find a safe space for people like me,” Digital Animation and Game Design sophomore Zoey Wiser said. “I will definitely be looking to join.”

As Trejo-Villegas is also a member of the Center for Latin@ Studies, DAISE has a close relationship with the other cultural RSOs on campus. The director of the CLS has provided equipment and mentorship through the process of building this RSO. Other collaborators attending the event included the Hispanic Student Organization, Black Student Union, Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, and more. 

“I see DAISE as doing something like the CLS does,” Trejo-Villegas said. “It’s important to have an RSO to bring a lot of change on campus…Oftentimes we feel very separated and alone, and it is hard to navigate the outside world with everyone criticizing and discriminating against you.”

DAISE already has a number of events planned for this semester and the upcoming fall semester. One such event is the welcoming ceremony, which is scheduled in the first weeks of the fall semester. It will be an opportunity where faculty and students will be invited to socialize and show new students the different spaces on campus and where the faculty and staff can help students with academics and discrimination.

For this semester, the next event DAISE has planned is smaller in scope and focused on self care during finals in the LGBTQ Resource Center.

-edited by ML