Creating an Inclusive Community on Campus with the Sexuality and Gender Acceptance Club

Come celebrate gender identity and expression at Gender Bender, happening tonight, March 23rd, at 8 pm in West Gate Social! This classic event began in the 90s (!!) and features performances by local drag kings and queens, as well as your own MRU student performers!

What better way to welcome this year’s Gender Bender than by connecting with a SAMRU club that’s making waves on campus with their commitment to inclusivity, community, and acceptance! We connected with the Sexuality And Gender Acceptance club – or SAGA – to learn what inspired the ratification of their club, where they’ve been, and what’s next!

Founding SAGA
Importance of Community
Event Highlights
What’s Next for SAGA
Get Involved with SAGA

Founding SAGA

SAGA was founded when Hayl Balla (they/them), now the club’s President, and an MRU alumni realized the need, and desire, for a Pride club on campus to bring together the queer community.

“We wanted to catch our community as much as we could – by celebrating and encouraging people to come together, and be social and visible in a safe manner, and allowing that space for people to join together,” Balla shares.

Angelika Sikora (she/they), Vice-President of SAGA, and Haydn Herman (he/they), the club’s Events Executive, were drawn to being a part of SAGA after attending an LGBTQIA+ student orientation at MRU. “It was just a super fun group, and I remember that I wanted to help make a space for that to blossom and have other students experience it,” Sikora reflects.

The club is now heading into its second year of ratification and has grown into a safe space for students and allies of the queer community.

“SAGA offers a sense of community to students, especially those who don’t have a ton of representation of their identities in their everyday lives or their home lives, and so the club gives them a safe space with people who understand them,” says Sikora.

Importance of Community

Providing a safe group where students can express themselves and their identity while having fun and feeling supported is the main goal of SAGA.

“Seeing club members’ excitement when we all gather together and how much they have that community now, it lifts their spirits, and I think it’s awesome,” Herman says. “Sometimes I get nervous about like, ‘is this going to go well? Is it going well right now?’ but then I look around and see that everyone’s having a good time, getting along, and feeling accepted. No matter what happens, it’s a success because they’re feeling great.”

Inclusion is also very important to SAGA – Sikora, who was the club’s Marketing Executive last year, explains that SAGA has put a lot of work into access and inclusion in both their online presence and in-person events.

“We’ve had a lot of students ask us like, ‘I’m straight, am I allowed to join the club?’ and the answer is, of course, you’re allowed! It’s an accessible and inclusive space for everybody to join, meet new people, have a good time, and experience university life in a different format,” Sikora says.

Event Highlights

SAGA has hosted a number of fun events that aim to get students involved, such as their Trivia Night or Card Game Night.

“One of my highlights was when we held a trivia night in West Gate Social, and we had club members and queer community members who were playing, but we also had a large portion of non-LGBTQIA2S+ community members on campus that were joining in and excited. It was really cool to see everyone come together and enjoy themselves,” Balla says.

Sikora talks about SAGA’s Card Game Night, which took place in the SAMRU Clubhouse (Z306), “Everyone was getting super into it and a little competitive, people were opening up to each other and there was a lot of laughs, so I thought that was really fun.”

What’s Next for SAGA

SAGA has another exciting event planned to round out the year – keep an eye out for their Just Dance Party before the end of the semester by following SAGA on Instagram at @mru.saga!

Another big goal for the club, Balla explains, is the hiring of new executives for the upcoming academic year.

“We have a lot more interest from people [than last year,] and we have a lot of roles that need to be filled, so we want to give people the opportunity to be involved with the club in an executive way,” they explain. An executive position in a SAMRU club also makes for a great resume booster!

On top of this, in the coming years, the club seeks to play a proactive role in making the MRU campus more accepting and inclusive for all.

“Our club is also a stepping stone for lots of clubs to show that they want to take those initiatives and be more inclusive to all their members and our members too, and I think that’s one way we can make our campus more inclusive and accepting and feel more welcoming to all LGBTQIA2S+ students, and allies too,” notes Herman.

To round out their goals, the club’s executives also explain that they are driven to keep the SAGA club going strong even after they have graduated.

“Making the club felt really important, because it means that we’re kind of keeping a safe space on campus or at least creating a community that can enforce that safe space […] in the future I don’t want students who are part of the community to feel like they don’t have a space to go to,” says Balla.

Having a social club that’s a little more casual… it keeps our community together, and it’s my hope for the club to continue with that in mind.”

Get Involved with SAGA

The SAGA club wants MRU students to know that everyone is welcome to get involved and that new members are always welcome!

“There are no prerequisites, you don’t need to know a skill or anything or have any sort of identity before you join,” says Sikora.

“You can just come and chill, which I think is super wholesome… we’re people who are going to respect each other, but are from all walks of life with so many different perspectives.”
You can keep up with SAGA events and initiatives by following them on Instagram at @mru.saga. Get in contact with the SAGA club via email by reaching out to

If you represent a SAMRU club and would be interested in meeting with us to be featured in a profile like this one, please reach out to! We would be grateful for the opportunity to share your club with the campus community!