GSA reflects on low turnout

Club strategizes plans for the year


Maddie Schutte

Co-presidents of GSA Club and seniors Anika Jamison and Al Woida discuss plans to paint the wall for National Coming Out Day. The first club meeting took place at 8 a.m. on Oct. 3.

Maddie Schutte and Sofia Seewald

According to senior and GSA club leader Anika Jamison, after experiencing low turnout at its first meeting, the club is looking to gain new members this year through different events that will promote it.

“Our main goal is to work on making sure that people at St. Louis Park know we’re here and just being open to other people,” Jamison said. “We’re planning on painting the wall this month to get awareness.”

Club advisor Kyle Sweeney said she hopes to create an enjoyable atmosphere within the club and become active outside of meetings. 

“We have two main goals which (are) to have fun and be together,” Sweeney said. “Sometimes we have political goals too. Depending on what’s going on locally or in the country, (we do) different advocacy things.”

According to Jamison, the Youth Summit event allows for GSA members to get into contact with congresspeople regarding issues the club feels passionate about.

“Youth Summit is this thing we do every year where we go to St. Paul and we go to the capitol and we get to talk to senators and representatives. Usually we have a goal of banning conversion therapy,” Jamison said. 

Sweeney said she intends to make GSA a safe space where students can make friends with similar interests as well as trying to reform LGBTQ protocol around the school. 

“I want people to have a place where they can come and be with other like-minded folks, and one of my goals is to make the school a better place for the LGBTQ folks,” Sweeney said. “Anything we can do in terms of working with teachers or changing policy is one of my priorities.”

In addition to GSA Club, Park has an LGBTQ support group, according to Jamison. GSA tends to focus more on the activism side of the LGBTQ community while the support group offers emotional support. 

“You can do both (GSA and LGBTQ Support Group). Support group meets during school, GSA meets before school on Thursdays, so you can kind of pick,” Jamison said. “If you wanted to choose between one or the other, support group is about emotional support and GSA is more about school support and advocacy.”  

The next GSA meeting will be 8 a.m. Oct. 17 in room B231.