CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University students and graduates are working with the OSU Alumni Association to launch an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer alumni (LGBTQ) and their friends and allies.

The first event will be this Sunday, May 6, at the Corvallis premiere of the award-winning 2011 film, "Judas Kiss." It will begin at 7 p.m. in the Construction and Engineering Auditorium at LaSells Stewart Center. A question-and-answer session with the film's screenwriter and producer, Carlos Pedraza, will follow.

The event is free and open to the public, and part of OSU's Pride Week celebration.

The purpose of the new group is to help reconnect LGBTQ alumni with the university community, and provide opportunities for the alums to participate in activities, mentor students, and network, according to Scott Greenwood, executive director of the OSU Alumni Association and vice president for alumni relations.

"Just as we want all OSU students and alumni to feel welcome and encouraged to engage with their university throughout their lifetime, we want our LGBTQ students and alumni to feel the same," Greenwood said.

Steven Leider, an OSU graduate student who is organizing the screening, said the new organization is important for the university.

"A major component of every LGBTQ-friendly college or university campus is an alumni group created specifically to support both LGBTQ alumni and current students," Leider said. "One of the most important activities LGBTQ alumni can participate in is the support of current LGBTQ students and the campus resources that support them."

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