Spectrum molds Knight's careerBy Alana Norris | 02/03/2015 12:37pm
Luke Knight, a junior from Madison, Mississippi, is the president of Spectrum. CW | Layton Dudley
Luke Knight, president of Spectrum, is a junior majoring in history and Latin from Madison, Mississippi. Spectrum is a group for LGBT students and allies that seeks to promote community and advocate for equality.
Q. Did you ever think you would be the president of Spectrum?
A. Not from the start. Spectrum was one of the first things that I came to as a freshman, and I got involved with it then. My sophomore year I became the secretary. So then after that it kind of became more clear that I would take the leadership role. With the work I was doing as secretary, it was a good transition into a bigger role.
Q. What have you enjoyed most about serving as the president of Spectrum?
A. I really love the opportunity to get to create the community here and provide outreach. And to give people somewhere to learn, and to be with other people and kind of celebrate and respect all our different identities.
Q.How would you describe your organization in three words?
A. Community. Activism. Fun.
Q. What do you wish more people knew about Spectrum?
A. Some people don’t even know that it exists, so there’s the first step. A lot of people don’t know that it’s been on this campus for over thirty years now. Since, I want to say 1982 or 1981. So we’ve been here a long time. We do educational events and community building. This year we are hosting the Southeastern LGBTQ Student Conference for the third year. All of our meetings and events are open to everyone regardless of how they identify. It’s a safe space for anyone who chooses to come.
Q. Can and do people who identify as straight join?
A. Oh yeah. We would never ask anyone to identify. That’s one of our main values - inclusivity and respecting identities.
Q. Can you tell me about QTPoC?
A. Queer and/or Trans People of Color. It’s a place for queer and trans people of color to exist without having to explain or compromise all of their identities. They have mostly closed events just for people of color, but they do have some open events that are for everyone.
Q. Have you ever had to deal with discrimination?
A. Not overt actions. People shout things from cars, which I don’t suppose you can do much about. We’ve never dealt too much with violent actions. Typically the most that I see is just, say, if we’re in the Homecoming Parade, like looks of disgust. I think we’re kind of fortunate in that, that we don’t have to deal with overt discrimination.
Q. What experience in this organization has impacted you the most?
A. My whole college career so far has been in Spectrum. So it’s kind of provided me a place to figure out my identity and to meet other people and learn a lot about how people are. I’ve learned a lot about social justice and activism in Spectrum as well as finding a lot of good, close friends.