Matthew Fichtel, Guest Writer~
Georgie DeCosmo, Guest Writer~
Lynchburg College is making strides toward being as diverse and inclusive as possible and the LC Gay-Straight Alliance is just one organization that tries to help achieve that.
The LC GSA is an organization sponsored by the Office of Equity and Inclusion located in the Burton Drysdale Student Center on campus. Morgan Smith, the president of the GSA, stated that the goal of the GSA is to “create an inclusive, supportive environment” for the LGBTQIA+ community on campus as well as to “provide education about the LGBTQIA+ community to the greater Lynchburg College community.”
In 2011, LC received a one-star rating in being LGBTQIA+ friendly and inclusive. Darian Geddis, the vice president of the GSA, agrees with that rating even now. Geddis ranked LC as “mediocre” when it comes to being LGBTQIA+ friendly on campus. He said that LC tries to garner an inclusive and friendly environment, but that “many members of the community still feel unsafe, unheard and underrepresented in a lot of organizations.”
The GSA is trying to help create a safe, inclusive environment for the LGBTQIA+ community. Geddis said that one way they try to foster an inclusive environment is “to collaborate with other organizations that host diverse and inclusive events.” The GSA has meetings twice a month where they discuss the issues that face the local LGBTQIA+ community as well as the national and global LGBTQIA+ communities with the intention of bringing the community together.
Some events held by the GSA last semester included:
- A Bisexual Awareness event
- Sex and Candy: A Safe Sex Talk
- National Coming Out Day
- A trip to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show
- Real Talk: LGBTQIA+ Living in Lynchburg
The GSA will also host their annual Rainbow Week in March, which is a week of events to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and to educate the LC campus community on the LGBTQIA+ community. Smith said some of the events scheduled for Rainbow Week will include an “ice cream social and an ally appreciation event, as well as a Drag Pageant for the grand finale.” They are trying to get organizations from all over campus involved with Rainbow Week to really embrace the sense of community and involvement on campus.