Alex Paterson, Montana State University Bozeman
Alex Paterson, a dedicated representative of the LGBTQ community at Montana State University, is committed to advancing awareness and acceptance of social justice issues. Alex presents specific ideas for action and seeks collaboration among diverse campus and community groups. Alex was a member of the LGBTQ Advisory Committee at Montana State University, adding a strong student perspective to conversations about diversity and inclusion on our campus. As President of the Queer Straight Alliance at MSU, Alex earned the trust of students, faculty, staff, and community members alike, through his work ethic and sincere passion for creating social change. He mobilized his peers to share their experiences and speak out alongside him in support of a local non-discrimination ordinance, which implemented protections for community members based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
A community member who has worked extensively with Alex said, “Alex is the epitome of the servant leader willing to not just listen but truly hear, provide constructive opposition when necessary and step up when the less than glamorous tasks must be done.” Alex has used his incredible passion, selflessness, and endless energy to build a community that is safe and welcoming for all.
-Waded Cruzado, President
At Montana State University and the Bozeman community as a whole, I am passionate about Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Queer (LGBTQ) advocacy. In Montana, a largely conservative state, LGBTQ rights are persistently challenged and targeted by bigotry and vitriol. Nonetheless, as the President and Mentor of the Queer Straight Alliance I seek to create an inclusive and empowering academic community for all students, regardless of sexuality or gender identity. I believe collaborative action is essential to our civil issue; with organizations such as Forward Montana and The Montana Human Rights Network we have fought for lasting LGBTQ equality such as passing a Non-Discrimination Ordinance in Bozeman. Additionally, I coordinate our school’s Coming Out Week and highlight LGBTQ issues as an Opinion Writer for The Exponent, our student newspaper. Through the solidarity and support of my peers, I have become a driving force in the overarching stratagem of creating a more equitable community. After graduation, I intend on pursuing a career in public policy focusing on LGBTQ human rights issues.