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Cultivating Inclusivity: Rainbows in the Gardens

SAGA and ESC Unite for a vibrant succulent painting event.
Succulents+and+cacti+available+to+the+students.+%0A
Jazlyn Summers
Succulents and cacti available to the students.

  UMKC’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) club collaborated with the Environmental Student Council (ESC) on Feb. 13 to celebrate their mutual love for plants in the community.

  The groups united to provide mini succulents, cacti and terracotta pots for students to paint and make their own. They also offered free, plant-based food from a local vegan restaurant, Cafe Gratitude. 

  “We really wanted to do more collabs in the spring, and we know that the gays love plants,” SAGA President Sam Justice said. “I thought it would be a great, fun way to connect with more than just us and have a whole community of people.” 

  Students gathered at the round tables, ate together, listened to music and painted their new plants’ homes at the event while also meeting new people.

Vice President of SAGA, Francesca Makuch, painting a pot.
(Jazlyn Summers)

  “I came to get to know more people in the organization and on campus too,” said freshman Emma Garcia. “I don’t know that many queer people. It looked fun, so I skipped class for it.”

  The consumption of plant-based food and recyclable materials is growing in popularity for people of all ages and provides environmental benefits. 

  “ESC’s goal is to improve UMKC’s sustainability levels,” said junior ESC Representative Lydia Weaver. “In the past, UMKC was one of the leading schools for sustainability in Missouri but has dropped in recent years.”

  ESC plans to build a garden with raised beds to grow vegetables and flowers on campus. The group has implemented a gardening class that will help take care of the beds when it is ready. 

  SAGA’s future events include a special student showcase drag show in September and their annual drag show in October.

  In the meantime, along with group collaborations, Justice says one of SAGA’S goals for this year is to “spread all the rainbows we can.”

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