Roger Life Stories

Roger Life: Conversation in Community with Sophie Speliopoulos

Sophie Speliopoulos, RWU’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) president

Sophie Speliopoulos, RWU’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) president, works with her peers to put on events that support queer and transgender students and benefit the entire RWU community. This February, Speliopoulos was busy supporting SAGA’s annual Health Week, which ran from the 15th to the 19th. 

Real Conversation about Queer and Trans Health: "The Wednesday event was a queer and trans health workshop presented by Volta Tran, who is a trans empowerment specialist at the Thundermist Health Center. Their presentation was really cool and interactive. We all really got to have a conversation about the topic, and there was a lot of audience participation. It wasn’t just her talking at us. I learned some really good history facts that I hadn’t heard before, like they were doing trans surgeries in Germany in the 1920s. That’s wild! I didn’t know that at all."

Seeing People, In Person: "We’ve been trying to do as many non-Zoom events as possible because we know Zoom fatigue is a real thing. Two of the Health Week events were Zoom-based, but we got permission to use rooms to gather some people to watch together, to maintain the sense of community. The presenters were hosted through Zoom, and we would socially distance in a large auditorium. I got to see people in person who I hadn’t seen in person in a really long time. I thought it was wonderful."

A Community About Acceptance: "A lot of freshmen came from high schools where they didn’t have anything like SAGA. They didn’t have a GSA [Gender & Sexuality Alliance] or anything. This is their first time having a supportive community where they can come to each other with questions. Some of our members have parents who aren’t super supportive of them, so we all really do make SAGA a community. We are all about acceptance, understanding, and support. I hope every student who needs us knows about us so we can help them."

Speliopoulos, of Granby, Conn., is majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Marketing and American Sign Language. 

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