GSA: New Year, New Name

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GSA: New Year, New Name

Sophomore Leo Servetar shows off his rainbow socks at a September GSA meeting.

Sophomore Leo Servetar shows off his rainbow socks at a September GSA meeting.

Sophomore Leo Servetar shows off his rainbow socks at a September GSA meeting.

Sophomore Leo Servetar shows off his rainbow socks at a September GSA meeting.

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As of this year, the Gay-Straight Alliance no longer exists. Instead, it has been reborn as the Gender-Sexuality Alliance.

Sophie Rubin, one of GSA’s co-presidents, said that the club had previously attempted this name change last year — until a yearbook mix-up invalidated their efforts. For the 2019-2020 school year, she hopes to cement GSA as the ‘Gender-Sexuality Alliance,’ citing its more inclusive terminology as the primary reasoning. “We want everyone to come join us… and that’s why we’re changing it to the Gender-Sexuality Alliance—because we don’t want people who are gender non-conforming or genderfluid to feel like they can’t join us because it’s ‘Gay-Straight.’” GSA’s mission this year is to bring a greater sense of awareness to faculty and administration. That way, the school can more fully address offensive language. With their help, Rubin hopes to bring this awareness into the student body.

While she believes students have become more accepting since her freshman year, Rubin said that there is definitely still room for improvement. “We still hear slurs that are very harming to us. We hear ‘oh, that’s so gay,’ or ‘don’t be a f*ggot,’ or stuff like that, and it hurts us, not only as a club but as a community.” Rubin plans to accomplish this goal by working directly with faculty, both through GSA’s position in the newly-formed Student Leadership Alliance and through Unity Counsel’s faculty training.

Senior Sophie Rubin speaks on LGBTQ issues and upcoming events in Boulder.

She hopes that this will encourage teachers to speak out more often when confronted with offensive language. “Hopefully,” she said, “in four to eight years from now, that language will be eradicated from the student body.” LGBTQ education also plays a role in GSA’s club meetings, and Rubin and the self-described ‘Board of Elders’ frequently enlists the resources of Out Boulder—an organization that educates and provides support for the LGBT community—as well as the help of individual students to inform on topics of interest.

However, most of GSA’s meetings are dedicated to making connections within the LGBTQ community. “I’m really hoping… for [new members] to make friends that they can rely on if they’re having a hard day, or if they just need someone to talk to,” said Rubin. “I met some of my best friends at the club, and I’m really hoping that that’s the same for some of these freshmen and underclassmen that are joining.”

Rubin also made sure to stress that one doesn’t necessarily need to be LGBT to join. “If you’re straight, come join us. We’d love to have more allies.” GSA meets every Wednesday during communal lunch in room 2280.