GSA works to include more

Stickers+sponsored+by+the+GSA+are+pasted+throughout+the+school.

Photo Credit: Anna Barton

Stickers sponsored by the GSA are pasted throughout the school.

by Ryan Morley, Senior Staff Writer

The Gay Straight Alliance took up an important topic that may change the club’s identity in its last meeting. The members discussed whether or not the name of the club is still representative of its goals today in a constantly changing culture.

The discussion arose as the club’s co-advisers and over 100 members questioned whether the term GSA may exclude some students of the full LGBTQIA community. Since one of the GSA’s most valued goals is to provide a space for all students no matter where they are on the spectrum of gender and sexuality, they are carefully considering the change.

The GSA meeting on April 20 did not come to any final resolution to the issue, instead the club members and board decided to table the issue until the beginning of next school year.

Club co-adviser Ms. Rusin commented on the postponement of their decision. She said: “It’s the end of the school year and we wanted to give some really deep thought to whether or not a change was necessary and if we do have a change what that change should be.”

It’s the end of the school year and we wanted to give some really deep thought to whether or not a change was necessary and if we do have a change what that change should be”

— Ms. Rusin

The issue was first discussed between the club’s co-advisers Mr. Brodhead and Ms. Rusin early in the school year, and the club has discussed the issue with similar clubs from other schools and in the local community since then. Several club members recently participated in a leadership conference in Montclair where meet other GSAs that have already changed their name.

Possible names that the GSA has considered are Spectrum or Alliance Clubs.

Although these names are more inclusive, many GSA members worry that the names are too vague. Many members believe that the club should have bold name that defines what they represent like the term GSA.

Many of the club members are currently undecided or have changed their opinion on the issue, including co-adviser Ms. Rusin who said “My worry is taking the word gay out of the name essentially and that does that make us look like we are trying to fit in because really the GSA is not about fitting in its about changing the culture.”

As the topic will continue to be discussed, the club will continue to spread their message in the upcoming Day of Silence on May 6 where the club will show their support for students who have been silenced by bulling or hatred.

The Day of Silence is a day where all students, of all sexual orientations, can be silent for the day to show support and raise awareness for the LQBTQIA community and to stop anti-LGBTQIA name calling and harassment. Students who stay silent receive a lanyard and students who support it receive a pin in the morning.

It started seven years ago, and this year there was an increased number of people participating and promoting positivity and acceptance. Daniel Brodhead, an adviser of the GSA club said, “Your support is felt by the LGBTQIA community and is appreciated more than you know.” 

In addition, they will also hold an assembly for the 8th grade students of the Glen Rock Middle School where they will introduce them to high school culture and talk about ways of dealing with the stresses one might encounter in high school.