Meet Q, Pride Kwantlen’s New Mascot
The new face of KPU’s Pride collective is an adorably fuzzy yeti with a rainbow-coloured horn
LGBTQ+ students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University are welcoming the newest member of the Pride collective to the community. From now on, Q the Yeti will be the official mascot of the Pride Kwantlen collective.
Joseph Thorpe, the Kwantlen Student Association’s queer students representative, says that Q is a welcome replacement for the old Pride logo.
“It’s more unique for [LGBTQ+ students] instead of just having the KSA or KPU logo,” he says. “I just hope [Q] garners attention from students and that more students join the collective.”
In addition to being the queer representative, Thorpe is also the Kwantlen Student Association’s VP Finance & Operations. Since achieving that position, he says he has wanted to continue working on initiatives for KPU’s Pride Collective, which is where the idea of introducing Q began to form.
In creating Q, Thorpe collaborated with Nicole Kwit, one of the KSA’s office and administration coordinators. She is a graduate of KPU’s fine arts program and currently serves as The Runner’s art director.
According to Kwit, the idea for Q’s design was brought about by a desire to give the Pride collective a distinctly unique character that would stand out when representing the group.
“It’s like a narwhal yeti that is genderless,” she says. “I was sitting around and thinking of Canada, and I was like, ‘Oh, yetis.’ And people like unicorns, so I put a horn on it.”
KPU students’ interest in the Pride collective has been declining over the last few years, most notably after KPU began to renovate the second floor of the Birch Building on Surrey campus, which is where the Pride Kwantlen office was located.
“Our school has changed in the past year and it’s getting harder to get students interested in these smaller minority groups,” says Thorpe. “Before they did the renovations, the [Pride collective] was pretty active, and then the students kind of stopped going to it.”
The Pride collective’s space was relocated to a different room on the same floor, but according to Thorpe, the door to the new office was broken once the renovations were finished. He says that this made it difficult for students to access the office.
“They finally fixed it,” he explains. “But it took a while. So, for a while, there was no space to hold meetings in or anything. It was hard to say, ‘We have a Pride centre,’ when you can’t actually go in it.”
Thorpe says that he hopes more students will become aware of the collective when the fall semester starts, and that Q’s intriguing design can help bring more visibility to the LGBTQ+ community at KPU.
“Now that that’s done we can finally, hopefully, get the collective going,” he says. “I want to get that started so that future students can continue it.”
Kwit says that she may have more designs for characters that represent different parts of the LGBTQ+ community, but for now, Q will stand as a symbol for the community as a whole.