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Club Profile: Out and Allied

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Out and Allied, an MBA student club at the Tepper School of Business, brings together students who identify as part of the LGBTQ community. They help to enhance the lives of LGBTQ students, faculty and allies of the community.

Derek Jackman, MBA ’18 and president of Out and Allied, sees the organization as a way to provide support and encouragement to students. “Out and Allied is open to everyone,” he said. “We are here to support you whether you are LGBTQ or not. We want to support you understanding our community, whether you identify as one of us or not.”

He went on to say that for non-LGBTQ students, Out and Allied can be a source of information about the LGBTQ community to assist allies in becoming advocates.

The organization hosts a variety of social, educational and professional events and volunteer opportunities. Over the past year they have hosted a Pink Party and Capture the Pride Flag, and attended events with Allies Grad, Carnegie Mellon University’s graduate LGBTQ organization.

Out and Allied also puts an emphasis on professional events for members, such as the ROMBA conference hosted by Reaching Out MBA Inc., a non-profit professional organization for MBA students and graduates. The students who attend ROMBA have a chance to network and learn from other LGBTQ professionals.

“The ROMBA conference goes far beyond simply connecting LGBTQ students with employers — it’s a platform for cross-program collaboration, community advocacy and personal development,” Jackman said.

Outside of the academic year, some Out and Allied members attended the EQT Equality March on June 11, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, including Viv Chen, MBA ’18.

Chen said that she chose to march with Allies Grad because she wants to show that CMU is an open community.

“Specifically, as a business student, I want to show people that business school can be very diverse,” Chen said. Her favorite thing about the march was hearing her classmates’ stories, which made her feel closer to them.

“It’s really cool that we have a month to celebrate who we are, and it’s not just about LGBTQ, it’s about everyone LGBTQ or not,” Chen said.

For the 2017–2018 school year, Jackman wants to focus on enhancing Out and Allied’s reach with increased allyship and advocacy, engaging the community inside and outside of the Tepper School and assisting members in their professional development through career preparation.