Safe Haven

Scott Daniels

One of the more known struggles of society today is that of identification and orientation. A support group provided for students willing to join is called the Gay/Straight Alliance, or GSA, specializing in giving students the freedom to express themselves on that topic.

“If you’re stuck in the closet, if you are scared to come out of the closet and you would like a safe place to go or you are out and are in a situation where you are being ridiculed for your sexuality or gender, GSA is the place to come,” Princess Halil-Hill (10) said.

The club was initiated near the end of last year by the still president of the GSA, Ian Butler (11), and has grown exponentially in popularity since then.

“I started going to GSA last year and it was the very last meeting [of that year] I’m pretty sure, and there wasn’t really a lot of people and I started coming this year and there was a really big turnout this year,” Halil-Hill said.

It’s possible to already have heard about the GSA, as some of its current members, one of which, Sky Feminella (10), the secretary of GSA, found out about the club through a friend of her own and has met newer members since her arrival.

“We found out about the club through our friend and I thought it was a really great idea because I’d be meeting more members of the community from our school and it’s just a really cool thing,” Feminella said.

Although GSA’s main goal is to give students a safe space in regards to their gender and sexual orientation, students who don’t have that exact goal in mind, but still desire to ensure the safety and comfort of themselves and those around them are always welcome.

“There have been a lot of people that I’ve come across that’ve been ‘I’m straight so I probably shouldn’t go there,’ but that doesn’t matter. If you support and love who they are, then [GSA’s] where you belong because this is a club where we’re trying to show [students] that they are not alone, that there are allies who aren’t like them and they still have people who will accept them and celebrate them,” Zachary Kettel (12) said.

Meetings normally take place on Thursdays in E120 in the freshman center. In order to catch up with GSA, or for new members, nail down the logistics of when and where the meetings are located, the club provides a couple ways to gain that information online such as their Remind 101, @Lakecengsa.

“This club is usually located in E120 in the freshman center, AKA Ms. Carrie Wadycki’s room, [but] students can find more information about GSA on Twitter or if you’re interested in scheduled meetings, you can add our remind 101. The Twitter handle is @lakecentralGSA,” Nicole Aldrich (11) said.