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San Diego State Raises Rainbow Flag To Celebrate Pride

San Diego State University student Amber McKinney helps raise a rainbow flag ...

Photo by Megan Burks

Above: San Diego State University student Amber McKinney helps raise a rainbow flag to celebrate Pride, July 7, 2017.

San Diego State University students and staff raised a rainbow flag Friday to mark the beginning of Pride in San Diego. The event was the first public appearance of Sally Roush since taking the helm as president of SDSU this week.

Those in attendance celebrated the university’s inclusive campus but said there will be more work to do under Roush’s leadership.

“Reach out,” student Amber McKinney urged Roush. “I know in the past there’s been some marches on campus up to the former president’s office and he’s not available. So maybe being a part of the community, being humble, being open to speaking with us.”

Photo by Megan Burks

A rainbow flag blows in the wind at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, July 7, 2017.

In an interview Roush defended former President Elliot Hirshman, whom some students called on to resign because they were dissatisfied with his response to flyers on campus alleging certain students were tied to terrorism. Hirshman did not immediately denounce the flyers, calling on the campus to honor free speech rights. Hirshman left the campus this summer to take a job in Maryland.

Roush said civil discourse is very important to her and wants students to feel comfortable speaking up through the university’s governance structure, including her office.

“I’m very dedicated to the concept of free speech and open dialogue,” she said. “But I’m also very dedicated to the concept of civility. I think our diversity and our differences are much more of a strength than they are a possibility for conflict.”

The nonprofit Campus Pride calls SDSU an LGBTQ-friendly campus. Last year it added 20 gender-neutral restrooms. The university will also participate in the Pride parade July 15.

The event was the first public appearance of Sally Roush since taking the helm as president of SDSU this week.

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