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The Gay-Straight Alliance Branches Out

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The Gay-Straight Alliance Branches Out

The GSA welcomes sophomore Marley Long. Long has attended meetings since the beginning of the second semester.

The GSA welcomes sophomore Marley Long. Long has attended meetings since the beginning of the second semester.

The GSA welcomes sophomore Marley Long. Long has attended meetings since the beginning of the second semester.

The GSA welcomes sophomore Marley Long. Long has attended meetings since the beginning of the second semester.

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In high school, it can be difficult for students to find their place, especially with balancing school assignments and extracurriculars. That is why oftentimes students seek social clubs to form valuable friendships. The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is one such example, where students celebrate diversity within the student body 

Club sponsor Ms. Marla Hooper has always supported this club, but she has actively been a sponsor for four years 

“I want to provide a safe place for [students] to get together with each other and talk about anything that they want to, but especially about anything related to LGBT issues,” Hooper said.  

Literature teacher Mr. Michael Dayton became a sponsor shortly after Hooper did. He wants the club to be a safe place where students can make strong friendships to help them get through the day. 

“I want to make sure that [students] have someone who is an advocate,” Dayton said. “If you are someone who falls into certain demographics, [school] is much more challenging. It may not be as fun or as safe a place for some people, and I want to make sure I am aware of that and help address it.” 

However, GSA has not always been what it is today. There was some controversy when the club first began, and it started it out with only a small group of students. 

The school system was very supportive,” Hooper said. “During the very first meeting, there was some tension. People were a little bit worried; of course, there were some people who were negative towards LGBT students.” 

Despite its initial setbacks, the club has had many successes. In December of last year, the GSA decided to ramp up membership by throwing a Christmas party. Food was brought by just about every student and several teachers and faculty members contributed. Ms. Kelly Greene, whose office is at the main building, brought several sets of cupcakes and muffins. 

GSA Members sophomore Ashera Ly and juniors Sebastian Muñoz and Izabella Mingolla discuss current events. The GSA meets on Thursday mornings at 7:45 a.m. in Ms. Marla Hooper’s room.

          The GSA hosted another party in celebration of Valentine’s Day and Rainbow Day, a holiday celebrated on the Friday closest to Valentine’s Day. Students baked cookies beforehand to decorate at the meeting, and rainbow pride bracelets were made. Sophomore Ashera Ly was one of the students who brought bracelet materials.  

“I really enjoyed making [the bracelets because] I could hand them out to all my friends and other people at school,” Ly said. “I think the bracelets [were] a cute way to spread awareness [and] support for the LGBT community.”  

Even if they are not throwing parties, the GSA has still proved a crucial support system for students. Junior Sebastian Muñoz is one of the many students who finds solace in the GSA while also enjoying the social aspects of the club. 

“For me, it’s a small group of the LGBT community where I feel free to express myself,” Muñoz said. “It’s like an open space to hang out and just have fun. I think it’s important to make people feel welcome and feel less lonely.”  

           The GSA meets every Thursday at 7:45 a.m. in Room SE 212. It is open to students from all grade levels who desire to spread inclusivity. The GSA plans to have a Bi-B-Q before the end of the school year and information will be sent out accordingly. 

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