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Pride at SAIT

Experience an inclusive community at SAIT

🌈 Pride Week at SAIT is Oct. 11 to 14.

Check out upcoming events and celebrate with us!

SAIT is a diverse campus and we are committed to providing an inclusive place to work and study. We will continue to enhance resources for our 2SLGBTQ+ community and effect positive change. 

In partnership with the 2SLGBTQ+ community, allies and the Pride at SAIT Committee  — a volunteer advisory committee from SAIT and Saitsa — we're working to provide a community at SAIT that is inclusive of and accessible to all individuals regardless of gender expression, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Connect with Pride at SAIT!

  • Sign up for the Pride at SAIT mailing list so you don't miss out on news about events and support for SAIT's 2SLGBTQ+ community!
  • Need a lunch buddy? SAIT and Saitsa have partnered for Pride at Lunch, where 2SLGBTQ+ students and allies can meet up for some social fun.
    Pride at Lunch will resume in Fall 2022!

Tips for attending your first Pride events

This is your opportunity to celebrate your individuality and spark joy for parade attendees of all ages. So wear your brightest colours, your boldest hairdos, elaborate makeup and more. Consider the weather and dress in layers.

If you’re feeling a little anxious, attending Pride events with a friend or family member can take some of the edge off. The Calgary Pride Parade is also dog-friendly, so long as your furry friend is leashed and good with crowds.

Don’t let all the fun and bright colours distract you from the basics like drinking water, eating regular meals and staying safe.

Decide which events you’re going to attend and do your research. You should know in advance if a venue requires ID, if there’s a cost or tickets required, and where the drop-off and pick-up points are. Check out the details for the Calgary Pride Parade and Festival.

There’s something to be said about holding your head high and smiling. It feels good and shows others that diversity is beautiful. Wherever possible, give yourself permission to get caught up in the moment and abandon any pre-conceived notions you might have.

Saitsa Pride+ Club and Pride at SAIT committee

Whether you're looking to network, make new friends or give back to the community, being part of a student club is one of the most fulfilling ways to get the most out of campus life. Visit the Saitsa Clubs website to sign up and explore any of the other student clubs on campus.

Visit Saitsa Clubs Website

As a volunteer advisory committee, Pride at SAIT continues to work to ensure that the SAIT community is inclusive of and accessible to all individuals. The committee strives to meet its mission through:

  • working toward the elimination of heterosexism, transphobia, homophobia and gender identity oppression within the SAIT community
  • outreach to the SAIT community

To learn more about the committee and how to get involved, please email pride@sait.ca.

Chair / Student Leadership Coordinator

Sarah Ward (she/her)

Sarah Ward

Sarah has worked at SAIT for 11 years and is currently the Student Engagement Facilitator in Learner Services, where she coordinates opportunities for students to lead, have fun, and build a community outside the classroom. After work you’ll find her playing UNO with her five-year-old, hiking, redecorating something in her home, or bingeing the latest murder podcast while doing a ridiculously difficult puzzle. She considers it an honour and privilege to work so closely with SAIT’s 2SLGBTQ+ community towards a culture of inclusion for all.
Assessment Coordinator

Nicole Gerlitz (she/her)

Nicole Gerlitz

Nicole has worked in the Business Intelligence and Analytics group at SAIT for almost a decade. Her work is dedicated to listening to students and apprentices to better understand how SAIT can improve all aspects of the student journey, from the moment they learn about SAIT to after graduation. Nicole has been honoured to be a part of the Pride at SAIT committee for the past four years.
Communications Coordinator

An Tran (she/her)

An Tran

An is a dedicated ally of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and leverages her background in marketing communications in her role as Pride at SAIT’s Communications Coordinator. It has also helped with her work as a Career Advisor with SAIT’s Career Advancement Services, where she helps students and alumni market their strengths to employers. An is a proud cinephile (read: movie buff/snob), and enjoys combining her passion for movies with her love of writing through screenwriting.
Community Relations Coordinator

Dana Marsh (they/them)

Dana Marsh

Dana teaches in the School for Advanced Digital Technology (formerly the School of Information and Communications Technologies) in the areas of programming, databases, and design, and is a Board member of Fierté Canada Pride, the national association of Pride organizers. Originally from Tk'əmlúps (colonially known as Kamloops), Dana relocated (back) to Mohkínstsis in 2020 to be closer to the mountains. They enjoy travelling (when it’s safe), reading, hiking, paddle boarding, and trying to keep up with all the podcasts they’re subscribed to. They live with their partner and their 2 pups, Maimee the chihuahua and Moose the pitbull.
Education and Training Coordinator

Terri Eklund (she/her)

Terri Eklund

Terri was a founding member of the Pride at SAIT Committee and continues to serve as the Education and Training Coordinator. As an educational developer, she brings her 10 years of teaching experience to support teaching and learning at SAIT. Terri believes that education and conversation are critical components for equity work and seeks out ways to grow in this space. Outside of SAIT, Terri serves on the Board of Directors for Pride at Work Canada. She's also a proud SAIT graduate, a serious NFL fan, and a skilled movie-quoter.
Member at Large

John Partington (he/him)

John Partington

John is the Associate Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SAIT. He brings nine years of progressive experience in higher education administration and is a founding member of the Pride at SAIT Committee. Originally from Ottawa, ON, he holds a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, a Master of Arts from McMaster University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Bishop’s University.
Programming and Activities Coordinator

Lukas Valentine (he/him)

Lukas Valentine

Lukas is an elder millennial who represents the ‘G’ in 2SLGBTQ+. When he’s not programming kick-ass events at SAIT, you’ll find him in the kitchen baking up delicious treats or in the digital world of video games. He’s passionate about connection and collaboration and believes we’ve come a long way as a community but there’s still work to be done. He believes that bringing people together is the first step in creating a better world for everyone and through collaboration, we can make that happen. If you see him around, say hi or reach out if you want to connect!
Research Coordinator

Hayley Puppato (she/her)

Hayley Puppato

Hayley is a Junior Researcher with the Green Building Technologies research department in SAIT. Her background is in environmental science, and she graduated from SAIT’s Environmental Technologies program. She’s excited to participate in the Pride at SAIT Committee and provide support to enhance SAIT’s services and supports to the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
Saitsa Representative

Colleen Burnett (she/her)

Colleen Burnett

Colleen is the Assistant Manager, Student Experience with the SAIT Students’ Association (Saitsa). She graduated from SAIT’s Administrative Information Management program in 2017 and after falling in love with SAIT campus as a student, she’s thrilled to be back as an employee! Colleen’s been with Saitsa since 2017 and has been involved with the Pride at SAIT Committee since the start of 2018. Being a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community herself, finding ways to support students has always been a priority for her. When she’s not at work, she spends her time hanging out with her dog and fiancée.
Student Leadership Representative

Cassidy ElDarazi (he/him)

Cassidy ElDarazi

Cassidy is a second-year Business Administration student. As a Pride Student Leader, he advocates strongly for mental health and inclusivity. With a background in public service and taxation, his goal is to become a taxation lawyer and start a non-profit with a focus on mental health initiatives for vulnerable minorities. In his free time, Cassidy enjoys playing video games and trading card games, and spending time with his cat Lily and husband Eddy.
Student Leadership Representative

Katherine Mantupar (she/her)

Katherine Mantupar

Katherine is a second-year Information Systems Security student. As a Pride Student leader, she would like to advocate for the 2SLGBTQ+ community at SAIT. Aside from studying full-time, Katherine works in a group home for people with mental conditions. She also does volunteer work for elderly people afflicted with dementia. Katherine strongly believes in the utmost importance of mental health. Even with her hectic schedule, she still finds time to indulge in self-care. Whenever at home, Katherine spends time relaxing and playing with her two dogs, Kody and Lizzy.

Campus initiatives

Preferred names

We encourage gender-diverse students who would like to discuss preferred name changes in confidence to contact pride@sait.ca. We can help you meet with a representative who can outline currently available options, provide support with informing instructors and also offer 2SLGBTQ+ resources at SAIT.

Universal washrooms

Binary (M/F) washrooms and change rooms can present barriers to students and staff with varying needs. The committee and the larger SAIT campus have been working on various initiatives to reduce these barriers. Recent changes include:

  • Universal washrooms - Accessible and gender-inclusive washrooms
    • Heritage Hall (AA126)
    • Senator Burns building (NJ102B)
    • Thomas Riley building (TT113)
    • John Ware building (E13 - closed during the renovation)
    • E.H. Crandell building (G102D) 
    • Green Building Technologies (Lab and Demonstration Centre) 

These changes help reduce barriers for people with varying needs, which may include:

  • limited accessibility
  • lack of private space
  • restrictive cultural norms in terms of gender identity and expression

We recognize the limitations with facilities in certain buildings and are committed to reviewing these initiatives on a regular basis. 

Click the image of the map to download. 

Definitions and understanding

Often we hear that people are not sure what the appropriate nomenclature is for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. There is a rainbow of definitions used in today's culture and we recommend reviewing the definitions provided by the Centre for Sexuality and exploring some of the external link resources listed below.

Approved definitions


Someone who is physically and emotionally attracted to people of the same gender. The term ‘homosexual’ has historically been used in hurtful ways, which is why many people now use other terms like lesbian, gay and bisexual.

A woman who is physically and emotionally attracted to other women. This word is derived from ‘Lesbos’, a Greek island home to Sappho, a poet and teacher who loved other women.

Term for someone with physical and emotional attraction to someone of the same gender. The term was used in the mid-1800s to mid-1900s to describe anyone engaging in any ‘unconventional’ sexual behaviour for the time (such as oral sex). ‘Gay’ can be used to talk about both men and women or more generally, the ‘gay community’, but it commonly refers to men.

Someone who is attracted physically and emotionally to people of the same or different genders. Bisexual people are not necessarily attracted equally to men and women and not always attracted to both men and women at the same time. Bisexuality is often thought of as a ‘phase’ on the way to coming out as gay or lesbian, but for many people, being bisexual is a life-long sexual identity.

A newer term for someone who is attracted physically and emotionally to another person regardless of gender or sex. This term is often used by those who wish to express their understanding and acceptance of trans and intersexed people. Also sometimes used by people wishing to express their openness to a broad range of sexual activities such as BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Domination, Submission, Sadism, Masochism).

Someone who is attracted physically and emotionally to more than one gender or sex but does not want to identify as bisexual because it is rooted in the idea of two genders (‘bi’- sexuality meaning ‘two’).

People (cisgender or transgender) who do not experience sexual attraction. Commonly shortened to ace. Asexual is a name for a type of sexual orientation or the absence of one. Asexual people are attracted to others on many layers — romantic attraction, wanting to be close and to love, and platonically — but are not interested in the sexual parts of a relationship.

An umbrella term for a social/intellectual/political movement that seeks to encompass a broad range of sexual identities, behaviours and expressions. It is also a personal identity that has been ‘re-claimed’ because queer has been historically used as a vicious insult. Sometimes it is used as a short form that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender people.

2SLGBTQ+ is an acronym used to identify two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning identities, while the plus sign (+) expands the acronym to include other identities. You may have noticed SAIT has shifted from using the LGBTQ2+ acronym to 2SLGBTQ+. Two-spirit is now recognized first in acknowledgement of Indigenous people being first on these lands.

LGBT is a shortened acronym for ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender.' This may appear in various combinations.

A person’s self-identified sense of being male, female, neither or both; how we think about and express our gender. An easy way to think of the differen[ce] between sex and gender is ‘sex is between your legs and gender is between your ears’.

A self-identifying term for someone whose gender identity or expression differs significantly from the gender they were assigned at birth. Transgender is also a political umbrella term used to refer to everyone who crosses gender roles in one way or another including transsexuals, drag queens and transvestites. Some people (‘transgenderists’) live in a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth but without wanting to change their genitalia.

Someone whose gender identity is different from the biological sex that they were assigned at birth. A transsexual person might change their physical sex by having surgery (known as Sex Reassignment Surgery or SRS), take hormones (testosterone or estrogens), do electrolysis and/or wear gender-specific clothing. This process of change is known as transitioning. Transsexuals may be referred to as female-to-male (FTM: a trans man) or male-to-female (MTF: a trans woman).” A trans woman should absolutely be referred to as ‘she’ and a trans man as ‘he’. Transsexual or transgender people may identify as gay, lesbian, straight or bisexual or otherwise.

A short form for transsexual and transgender.

A First Nations term used in various ways by people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or transsexual, or who literally embody both a male and female identity and perspective. This term particularly refers to gender. Two-Spirited people had positive and elevated status among some Aboriginal nations prior to the arrival of Europeans.

Refers to people who are born with a combination of male and female anatomy. The term ‘hermaphrodite’ used to be used, but is now considered inappropriate and offensive.

Someone who chooses to wear clothing that is associated with the opposite gender. It is a word that has replaced the word ‘transvestite’.

How to be an ally

It's important to show support for your 2SLGBTQ+ friends by being a good ally. Not sure how? Start with these easy steps!

Courtesy AMAZE Org


Individuals with questions, concerns or complaints about accommodation, discrimination and harassment can find confidential support and advocacy both on and off-campus.

Contact us

Pride at SAIT

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