GSA aims to grow under new sponsor

Juniors+Gracie+Hammond+and+Mykayla+Sprague+hold+up+a+sign+saying%2C%E2%80%9DTHIS+IS+WHAT+A+FEMINIST+LOOKS+LIKE%2C%E2%80%9D++at+a+recent+event+hosted+by+GLSEN+at+Wichita+State+University.

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Juniors Gracie Hammond and Mykayla Sprague hold up a sign saying,”THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE,” at a recent event hosted by GLSEN at Wichita State University.

Gay Straight Alliance club (GSA) has been inactive over the past several years. However, this year GSA has several events planned throughout the course of the year under new club sponsor Susanna Tippett.

On Sept. 17, members of the club went to a GSA event at Wichita State University that allowed members of various GSA groups to interact.

“It was put on by GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) and it was all about putting GSAs together, networking, hearing their ideas and the things they’ve done well, their issues and what they need help on. That was probably the best part of it, just networking with other GSAs,” Tippett said.

The group also gathered ideas for raising awareness. They participated in a drawing for a free GSA t-shirt during Ally Week, which was Sept. 26-30.

“It’ll be like that railer pride t-shirt, only we’re going to make the railer a rainbow,” Tippett said.

They have also hinted at the idea of having other apparel. These items would be more of a personalized option.

“I really like the idea of having buttons available for people with their preferred pronouns,” Tippett said.

Preferred pronouns are how people would like to be referred to as, such as he/him/his, she/her/hers, or they/them/theirs.

“It stands for Gay Straight Alliance, so people might think that transgenders are excluded, but they’re not, everyone is encouraged to join, if you want to support the cause,” Tippett said.

Students are encouraged to join if they believe in equal rights for the LGBT community, regardless of their own sexual orientation.

“We’re going to make people a little more aware about what our GSA is, you don’t have to be in the LGBT community to join the club, it can also be Allies,” Tippett said.

One of the goals for the club this year is to get a gender neutral bathroom installed somewhere in the school. This would allow someone who is transgender to use the restroom without any controversy.

“I think we’ll first just meet with Mrs. Moore and say, ‘hey, this is something we want, can we make this happen?’ and if there’s resistance we’ll go down the line and talk to the school board, talk to the principals, tell them why we think it’s necessary,” Tippett said.

Ultimately, the goal for the club this year is to grow. Tippett expects to add Newton’s GSA to various social media sites throughout the year.

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