‘Rebooted’ GSA sees spike in membership

Michelle Follett, Staff Writer

From a very early age, adolescents are taught to “Get involved!” and “Join an extracurricular activity!” Such advice becomes more and more prominent within the hallways of one’s high school – Cary-Grove being no exception – what with the vast array of posters plastered upon its walls advertising each school-sanctioned extracurricular activity.

Like many other high schools these days, CG offers the typical assortment of extracurriculars for students to join. For instance, our high school boasts incredible athletics, a fantastic band, a highly successful performing arts program, a vibrant GSA – wait a minute… what on Earth is GSA?

Well, I’m about to tell you! GSA stands for Gay-Straight Alliance, and it’s been extremely prosperous as of late. Essentially, the club is centered around the subject of sexuality and embracing one’s own. After being reintroduced second semester of last year by Lexi Fountain (current junior) and Cole Klemann (current senior), the club reached new heights this year.

Before its reintroduction, GSA received a decent following, but the group quickly lost its momentum due to a loose structure.

“There weren’t actual meetings,” Fountain said. “It was just kids getting together and sitting in a room.” So what sets the new GSA apart from its predecessor? A lot, actually.

Gone are the days of small talk amongst its members – I noticed this right away upon entering the health room, where GSA meetings are held.

As I walked in, the meeting hadn’t quite begun yet, but there was already an undeniable sense of positivity buzzing throughout the room. Members enthusiastically chatted with one another, and I was immediately welcomed with open arms.

Never before had I seen a club with a more lively, optimistic group of students. It’s obvious from the moment you step in – these kids genuinely love being proud members of C-G’s GSA.

Fountain and Klemann said the new GSA is focused upon building and maintaining a fun, interesting agenda aimed towards educating kids about sexuality, and this has benefitted the group hugely. This agenda centers around the informative presentations shown each meeting, and projects and discussions stem from each presentation’s topic. Group members also study articles and debate modern-day issues regarding sexuality.

Now you’re probably thinking – presentations? Those are about as far from fun as it gets. But these presentations aren’t the typically boring (sorry, teachers!) slideshows shown in class. Their subject matter varies drastically each week, all while tying back to the main focus of sexuality.

For example, shortly after the meeting began, I was genuinely intrigued by that day’s topic. The topic was LGBT influence within video games, something I’d never pondered before.

I found myself listening intently to the presenters, though I honestly have very limited knowledge of both video games and the LGBT movement. This just goes to show that regardless of one’s background, GSA can appeal to almost anyone.

The atmosphere created by GSA’s many vibrant members is one of excitement, enthusiasm, and positivity. It’s been approximately one year since the club was rebooted, and it was no doubt for the better.

The group boasts many achievements, the most important being that its members have acquired valuable knowledge about sexuality, the LGBT community, and what it means to really “Get involved!” Newcomers are welcomed with open arms, and the entire group truly is one big, happy family.