Embracing a New Alliance

gsa
Showing Off Their GSA Pride

 

By: Sabrina Raye

          Staff Writer

 

     Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) recently embarked on a journey for its official name change rather than “GSA Spectrum.” First suggested by GSA’s adviser, Mr. Hamblin, the movement was recently successful and the official name is now Gay Straight Alliance.

     Mr. Hamblin has been GSA’s adviser for two years and his two goals for GSA are to form a strong alliance with other clubs and for GSA to be known as a diverse club for all people. He decided to take GSA’s adviser role because of his knowledge on the hardships young people face with their sexuality. However, GSA hasn’t always been this active; the club has faced many ups and downs.

      “We owe a lot of where GSA is today to Savannah Campbell,” said Mr. Hamblin, referring to the former president of GSA and 2012 Red Mountain graduate. “She decided to bring back GSA after it had stopped for a couple of years. She got together a good group of students for GSA to continue steadily.”

     Since the club’s triumphant return this past year, Mr. Hamblin decided to take a step forward and petition for a name change.

     “We shouldn’t have to hide behind labels. We should just be proud of who we are,” said Mr. Hamblin. “The name-changing process was a simple one, just some paperwork, and Student Council had to vote either yes or no.”

     GSA is a haven for students, gay and straight, to come together and bond with others. GSA creates a safe environment for students to be themselves, without worry about what other people will think of them.

     “GSA, to me, means a safe place for students to vent about how the school effects them and to bond with others,” said Mr. Hamblin. “I am able to counsel students, see their frustration and make a difference.”

     At Red Mountain, bullying because of one’s sexual preference is still an issue, but one that has improved over the years.

     “Our differences make us stronger, and a community that accepts differences will become stronger,” said Mr. Hamblin. “I think we can achieve a school-wide alliance. It would be a two to three year effort, but eventually we can create a student body that is not hung up on the differences.”

    Since Campbell’s resurgence of the club during the 2011-2012 school year, GSA has achieved a name change, which will contribute to a movement towards acceptance and a safe environment.

     “This year we will be using most of our meeting time to discuss social issues and give support within our members in order to spread acceptance in our community,” said senior and GSA’s President Jake Betz. “We will also be participating in Red Mountain and valley-wide events that we can properly finance. It’s difficult to plan and pay for events for the club because we’re small and not very known, so we plan to make GSA and the importance of it more known and recognized throughout Red Mountain.”