VALLEY is all about pride month. Pride month has everything to do with happiness and equality. What’s not to love? Recently four rainbow crossroads were just painted in State College, between Calder Way and South Allen Street thanks to the efforts of the University Park Undergraduate Association, or UPUA, and the Borough of State College. They serve as a symbol of welcome and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
UPUA was quick to get involved in the effort to make the crosswalks a reality. The project took about three weeks from idea to implementation, a fairly quick turn around. Liza Buschinski, UPUA’s Director of Communications, tells VALLEY, “UPUA helped partially fund the crosswalks and collaborated with the Borough to make the crosswalks a reality. We let the borough know that this was a great idea and we fully supported the project. We were happy we were able to get the project rolling so fast.”
The idea first came to the Borough and UPUA’s attention after seeing other crosswalks around the country receive positive attention on social media.
Buschinski says, “We thought it was a great idea and felt that it was vital to bring this idea to the Borough to promote inclusivity. June is pride month which was a perfect time to paint these crosswalks, and we wanted to make sure they were completed in time.”
The project execution was also ideal timing after UPUA’s partnership with the Borough to create the “You are welcome here” banners. The crosswalks are yet another way to show the students at Penn State and residents of State College that they will always be welcomed no matter what.
Douglas Shontz, spokesperson for the Borough, said the latex paint used to create the rainbow crosswalks should last about a month, but the Borough is looking into a long-lasting substance to make the crosswalks permanent.
Buschinski explained, “We hope these crosswalks inspire equality and acceptance in State College. It was important to bring this idea to life because our end goal is to make sure that individuals will feel welcomed here no matter their sexual identity, race, ethnicity, etc.”