GSA Rebrand

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Photo provided by: Ada Grieger

On the Dec. 1 meeting, members chat with each other and Dr. Roy while enjoying activities. “We usually do activities that are either physical or little icebreakers,” Ortega said. “Sometimes, actually, we started this, Dr. Roy has been doing a little short on ‘did you know about this’, but it’s for underlooked gay people, LGBT people that get underlooked and shrouded by history, so we’re doing that to inform other people as well. Sometimes we’ll have serious days. We’ll just stop, sit, and talk about whatever’s in our mind, spread awareness and whatnot.”

Faith Shimick, Staff Reporter

Every Tuesday, the Gay-Straight Alliance club meets in Dr. Melissa Roy’s room, 5-011. Most students see the club as a place only for members of the LGBTQ+ community on campus, and might tend to stay away from it. However, a recent rebranding effort is attempting to change that. Their major goal is to make the club feel more open to those who are not LGBTQ+.

“We want to make everyone more comfortable,” junior and chairman of the club Matthew Ortega said. “Gay-Straight Alliance is going to be too strong for some people, so we’re going to slowly get more comfortable and make it more approachable so more people can come and the audience looks at that and it’s not too strong, and it’s not overwhelming them so they decide to join the club because it seems comfortable enough.”

Part of the rebranding has to do with the club’s presence on social media. They have specific people dedicated to putting their image more out there, which should help greatly, as social media is a big part of any club on campus. 

What we did last time is that we played Jackbox. That was really fun… Sometimes we’ll have serious days. We’ll just stop, sit, and talk about whatever’s in our mind, spread awareness and whatnot.”

— Matthew Ortega

“The social media people, they promote, so we can get more clout, you might say, and just to get more people to recognize us,” Ortega said. “They’re kind of like flowers that are blooming, so people can look at them and say ‘Oh that’s a really nice flower, I want to go see that flower.’”

The rebranding activities mainly feature contests, be it a new name or logo. Certain activities during the meetings like playing Jackbox or discussing underrepresented members of the LGBTQ+ community will stay the same, but another goal is to expand them, like creating a Discord. Even if the activities or topics discussed seem daunting, that is not the goal of GSA. As members will tell you, it is a safe space to relax and find friends. 

“If you’re having a hard time and you’re having just a really bad day, you should go to GSA so you can calm down and chill there,” Ortega said. “There’s people that’s going to get to know you, and no matter what their sexuality is, no matter what kind their views is, they’re still people too. They’re going to be over here, they’re going to be providing comfort. We’re a support club and also going to be an activist club. It’s mainly just a chill corner.”