CJ Robinson, Reporter
The Gay Straight Alliance started holding meetings in February. About 10 members are actively involved in the GSA, club president Rhi Wevver said.
Wevver said the goal for this club is to create a safe space for students of all sexualities and identities.
“I care a lot about the queer community,” Wevver said. “I have a personal investment in the club.”
Typically, meetings cover event planning, any community problems in Pierce or Puyallup regarding the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community and an open socialization and chat. Meetings are biweekly to encourage as many people to come as possible and to coordinate between schedules of active members.
In order to maintain the safe space, Wevver said rules that members must follow include respecting other’s chosen pronouns, keeping the blinds closed for confidentiality, making sure no pictures are taken without previous permission and being sensitive about others’ mental states.
“I’m not usually able to be open with who I am,” GSA member Syd Blankenship said. “This group kind of made it easier to do that in public.”
The beginning of the GSA also signified the end of the previous year’s Umbrella Club. Previous members of the Umbrella Club, including student Jaspar Bailey, said the club has rebranded because of complaints about the original club.
“There hasn’t been a ton of shaming (like in the Umbrella Club),” Bailey said. “I don’t feel I have to watch what I say because of the constant nagging presence of staying in an acceptable bubble.”
The club had garnered such a bad reputation that rumors spread to local high schools and junior high schools, Blankenship said.
“It’s a much more relaxed and friendly environment,” GSA Vice President and Sustainability Coordinator Morgan Pasquier said. “It really just needed a full-on reboot.”
Wevver became president after the original officers were unable to commit to the club. Wevver was elected along with Pasquier as vice president and student Connor Staffen as secretary/public relations officer. The officers were elected after a vote for the vice president and secretary/public relations officer and Wevver was elected by default as they were the only one interested in the position.
Members from the GSA hope to increase membership and involve more students in their projects, Wevver said.
The GSA has a donation box near the Office of Student Life with funds to organizations that support the homeless like Freezing Nights. They’re also planning a spring dance that’ll occur sometime in May.
“I don’t know what would’ve happened if I didn’t find this group of my friends who supported me,” Wevver said.
Meetings are Mondays 3-4 p.m. and Fridays 2-3 p.m. in Room 292 of the College Center.
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