This archived article was written by: Heather Myers, Cj Jelsma, Allie Mangum
Between 40 and 50 students attended the first meeting of the College of Eastern Utah’s Gay-Straight Alliance. The club was chartered on Monday and the meeting was held Tuesday.
Jennifer Truschka, faculty adviser for the club, arranged the meeting to discuss future meetings. She called the meeting “more of a pre-meeting.” She handed out a survey asking students what issues they felt should be discussed by the GSA and what kinds of activities the club should sponsor.
This is your organization,” Truschka told students. The group will focus on what the students want. Any ideas or suggestions can be e-mailed to Truschka. Changes to the name of the organization to include more groups, such as bisexual, transsexual and transgender, or the mission statement to better serve student’s interest was also an issue.
The meeting took place in the Alumni Room of the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center, Truschka asked the students in attendance for ideas on a more permanent place for the group to meet on a regular basis.
Places such as the Old Ballroom, the Little Theatre, the Boardroom and a classroom were considered. Truschka encouraged students to “scout around.”
The time, day and frequency of the meetings were also discussed. There was a general consensus on meeting weekly, on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m.
The agenda of the meeting, partially to be determined by the survey results, was a topic of discussion. Some of the students involved in the group are interested in social issues such as gay media, coming out and spirituality; others are interested in political issues and changing public policy concerning homosexual issues. Some are interested in both.
To encapsulate all of these issues a range of activities was discussed. Speakers, forums, movie nights, donating books to the CEU library, getting gay studies classes at CEU and participating in the Pride parade and festival in Salt Lake City were proposed.
“This is like the civil rights or the women’s rights movement in the ’60s. It will change the future of America.” Truschka, said addressing the importance of getting people to think about homosexual issues.
In the beginning stages, the main focus of the group is to get the word out on campus and to get people thinking about the issues that surround homosexuality.
The money coming into the organization is a concern. Because the club is part of Inter Club Council it will receive funds from ASCEU. The issue of fundraising was addressed although no conclusions were drawn.
The club plans to meet again in the middle of January. Elections for president, vice president and secretary will be held next semester.