This archived article was written by: Nicholas Critchlow
CEU’s first Gay Straight Alliance club kicked off their first meeting of the year with many plans for activities.
The mission statement of the GSA is to address prejudice surrounding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual issues. GSA offers a forum for gay and straight adults to discuss political and social issues surrounding gay rights. Education, promotion of tolerance and working to change public policy are the primary goals of GSA. GSA helps students understand and form opinions concerning gay rights and human rights in general. Originally the idea of the group was to affiliate the organization with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian alliance against Defamation), however in a meeting with Brad King, the suggestion was to put the word “straight” in the title since the organization was open to everyone.
The group plans to do a lecture series, donate certain books and movies relating to gay and lesbian issues to the college library, have political discussions and fight any repressive bills being passed through the Utah legislature.
The GSA will work other similar organizations around the state including college and high school groups. Recently conservative republican Utah senator Chris Buttars had planned legislation to ban high school gay-straight clubs but failed. “I’m concerned about gay clubs,” the West Jordan Republican said, “in my mind, if you are in the chess club, what do you talk about? Chess, if you are in the dance club, what do you talk about? Dance. If you are in a gay club, what do you talk about? I just don’t believe members of sexual-orientation clubs should be sanctioned by the public schools – what they are talking about is not even a part of the public schools. They should not be allowed to have that on school property at all. It’s just wrong.”
Jennifer Truschka is the social sciences instructor on the campus and adviser of the group. “It is very important that we have a group like this on campus because this is the Civil Right’s movement of the 21st century. Just like the African-American rights movement and the Women’s Rights movement, people need to be aware and talk about it,” Truschka added.