GSA Club kicks off the new year with meeting


Eva Spindler

Junior Jaedyn North started the GSA at Gibson Southern and plans each meeting with help from officers Tyler McFadden, Eva Spindler, Kaeden Dardeen.

Eva Spindler, Copy Editor

Gibson Southern’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club got back into the swing of things Friday, Jan. 27, with the group’s first meeting of the second semester. The club was founded earlier this school year by junior Jaedyn North.

The students began the meeting with snacks and talking as a group. They then continued the meeting with a “Family Feud” game and were joined by a few guest teachers. This is the club’s normal routine for meetings.

“We usually hang out, do a group activity and leave some time to talk as a group and just discuss things,” North said. “[We are] not always serious; usually we’re goofing off.”

The purpose of a GSA club is to unite and serve as a safe space for LGBTQ+  students. North thought of starting the club last year, as a way to help individuals who are part of the LGBTQ+ community at GSHS.

“[I started GSA] to create a welcoming environment for queer kids in the school,” North said.

North soon realized the difficulties of starting a club at the school. She first presented the idea to Kelley Asay, a guidance counselor at Gibson Southern. Asay then brought the concept to Jon Adams, the school principal, who had two meetings with North. 

“It takes forever,” North said. “[It is] very difficult. I definitely had a lot of pushback at first with just getting things started and verified.”

North was also required to find a staff sponsor for the GSA club. She asked Vicki Kirkman, Gibson Southern’s social worker, to fulfill that position.

“My role as a sponsor is to supervise meetings and support the students if a need arises in planning activities,” Kirkman said.

Before each meeting, North must send out information on scheduling and event planning to the club’s officers. They then must plan for snacks, drinks, and activities at the meeting. 

Starting a new club comes with challenges, which North has experienced firsthand.

“Getting information out has been pretty hard,” North said. “I’ve definitely had a lot of trouble getting stuff verified by teachers, so I can send it out in time for kids to make it to meetings. I’d say that is probably the biggest challenge I’ve faced.”

The club has two upcoming meetings scheduled for Feb. 10 and March 3. The group is also planning a “teach the teachers” day.

“The main thing we want to do this year is have a ‘Teach the Teachers’ day, where we will go in and talk to all the different staff members about how they can play a supportive role in the lives of queer students, and make them feel like the school is an accepting environment for them to be in,” North said.

Students like senior Amelia Robinson have enjoyed the inclusivity that GSA brings to Gibson Southern.

“I wanted to be a part of a club where people could express themselves without judgement from those who can be cruel,” Robinson said.