Senior enjoys leadership role in club

President of Gender Sexuality Alliance appreciates position


Caroline Green

Senior Elise Bargman discusses possible speakers for the upcoming school council meeting on April 24 at 7 p.m.

Nicole Sanford and Isaac Wert

For senior president of Gender Sexuality Alliance Elise Bargman, sexual orientation and gender identity hold personal meaning.

“I identify as a lesbian, and I’ve always had a very accepting household. My grandma actually was in charge of PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, in the ‘90s, so I come from a long line of defending rights,” Bargman said. “It (is) important to me to provide that community that I’ve grown up around to other students.”

Club adviser Kyle Sweeney said Bargman has acted as the club’s president for the past three years.

“When (Bargman) was a sophomore, there were a lot of (club members) leaving, and she stepped up,” Sweeney said.

Bargman said she leads the club alongside Sweeney, overseeing operations.

“I am the president of the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) and so I am generally the person who would do a lot of the organizing what we do each day, helping other students plan (events) and overseeing (the club),” Bargman said.

According to Bargman, GSA allows members to express themselves in a safe environment.

“Seeing kids find GSA to be a space where they can be who they are and talk through that with supportive people, and then seeing them grow in their confidence and (their) identity over the years (is rewarding),” Bargman said.

According to Sweeney, Bargman’s greatest strengths as a leader are her people skills and energy.

“(Bargman is) so good at getting people to be interested in what is important and at getting people excited,” Sweeney said. “She talks to all different sorts of people from all different areas. When she talks about an issue, people are ready, excited and want to (contribute and help).”

Sweeney said she enjoys spending time with the students in GSA.

“(The club members) are super forward-thinking, and always thinking about human rights, always thinking about something new, always trying to welcome people to our school,” Sweeney said.

According to Bargman, leading GSA is something she enjoys, but it also comes with forms of burden.

“Definitely being in a lot of ways the go-to person for people who are figuring themselves out (can be challenging),” Bargman said. “I love doing (it) but it can be emotionally hard, too.”

GSA meetings take place at 8 a.m. every Tuesday in room B231.