GSSA Reworks

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

The Gender and Sexuality Spectrum Alliance (GSSA) is the LGBTQ+-focused club on campus. It’s an opportunity for LGBTQ+ students to join together in a welcoming area that allows for discussions, resources, events and more. Recently, the club has been focusing on re-establishing and re-activating itself to create a safe space for students. 

After the club lost its president and vice president last year and the pandemic hit, the club’s attendance and events were negatively affected by the change. The GSSA was quickly passed off to the current president, senior creative writing major, Quinton Holt, in a rush.

“I was unexpectedly given control over the club when our president and vice president transferred and wasn’t given any instructions at the beginning of the fall,” Holt said. “Since I’m a senior and next fall is going to be my last semester, it was really important to me that this club was active by the time I left because it was a meaningful and helpful group for me as a freshman and sophomore.”

In order to rework the club, Holt has been working alongside the current treasurer, Lucas Copeland, and interim secretary, Ellie Dickson. 

For Dickson, GSSA has not only been a comforting space but has also been a learning experience. 

“I was very involved with my high school’s version of GSSA, and when I heard of Point Park’s  GSSA, I was excited to meet people who were comfortable with being themselves and wanted to help support them,” Dickson said. “I also knew I still had a lot of learning to do in regards to the LGBTQ+ community, so this was a good way to do so.”

Both Dickson and Copeland have helped Holt in a number of ways, from re-organizing the inner workings of the club to increasing ways for students to get involved. 

“Lucas has honestly been a savior for this club since he has so much experience running a similar club at his previous university,” Holt said. “He helped us re-write our constitution and create a lot more opportunities for leadership roles within the club that will help delegate the responsibilities for the different officers.”

Some of the main changes are the new constitution, new membership opportunities and adding summer events to keep members connected during the break. One of the big changes of the new constitution is changes in leadership roles and the way they’re held. 

“One of the new major additions to the constitution is a mid-semester review of the officership and club activities,” Copeland said. “The purpose of this review is to monitor the performance of the officership and, if needed, remove any officer who is not completing their duties or has failed to uphold the values of the club. The hope is that this will improve the health of the officership and prevent another inactive period.”

All of these changes are in place to encourage student interaction with the club, whether that be as one of the leading members or just as a regular member. For Holt, if he can get some students interested in the club again to help them find support in their sexuality and gender, then he’s done his job. 

“If our restoration goes as planned, we want to help establish a stronger community and resources for everyone to get involved in LGBTQ+ issues on and off-campus,” Holt said. “It’ll also just be a good environment to meet new people and have fun with other members of the queer community.”

GSSA will be holding special elections to introduce the new leadership roles and constitution on April 16. Students can become a part of GSSA through PointSync or get updates on the club through its Instagram and Twitter at @ppugssa.