Stephen Rice worked with fellow students and staff for two and a half semesters to create the GSA.
After two and a half semesters, a constitution is written and persistence has paid off. J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College officially has a Gay-Straight Alliance.
“The school has a lot of policies for all new groups,” GSA president Stephen Rice says. “Now that it’s started, I feel like we’re going to have a lot to do and a lot of places to go to. “
As an active organization, the JSR GSA had their first meeting on November 12 and has built a running list of roughly 25 members. Rice started the organization with the guidance of adviser Holly Gordon to build an environment at the school where queer youth can feel safe.
“We’re trying to create a peer networks for individuals that might be dealing with issues about homosexuality around campus,” Rice said. “We talked about creating a group that will have a lasting impact on our community.”
According to Rice, students have had a positive feeling about the organization so far and they have seen.
At the first meeting, Rice shared information about resources in the Richmond area including ROSMY and PFLAG. The group is now in the process of getting different on campus.
Rice says his group will be planning programs like on-campus lectures, participation in lobby days, and the annual Day of Silence on April 16.
“I hope that we get enough momentum to change our community and make our school a better place for anybody,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight. It’s about creating equal rights no matter what the issue is.”
The next meeting of the GSA is Thursday, December 3 at the Parham Road Campus Burnette Hall Cafe area from 6-7 p.m. Follow the organization on Twitter.