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True Equality Alliance anticipates approval from SGA to be an official club

Madeline Hunt, Crier Staff

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For years, Saint Anselm College students have attempted to establish a Gay Straight Alliance club on our campus. Today, thanks to the collaborative efforts of proactive students and encouraging faculty, the dream is in reach.

True Equality Alliance (TEA) is currently in the final steps of the club-approval process. With two unofficial club meetings underway and a count of 42 members, TEA is finding success here on campus.  

The mission of the club is as follows:

“We aim to create a safe atmosphere on campus for students who identify as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning, and allies of said students. We shall do this by: advocating for the rights of these students, conversing about current events and applicable news in the media, and other applicable matters. We shall also provide a welcoming environment in meetings for said identifying students to gather together in community. We shall do this all in good faith and with respect of all individuals on campus.”

President Kelsey Warner ’19 and Vice President Haley Lyons ’19 have worked hard to enable its creation and development. One of the major obstacles in establishing the club was identifying a student need for it, as there is already a college collaborative effort that caters to LGBTQ students. Core Council, a group of both students and faculty, offers support and education to LGBTQ students. The difference between Core Council and TEA, Lyons explains, is in the fact that the latter is student-led and student-oriented.

She continues, “Our campus needs a safe place for students in addition to Core Council’s outreach and education.” TEA plans to collaborate with Core Council on certain events and both Warner and Lyons agree that Joycelin Raho, previous head of Core Council, was instrumental in the foundation of TEA.

So far, student and faculty’s reception of TEA has been overwhelmingly positive. Campus Ministry, Residential Life, Freedom New Hampshire, and professors alike have shown interest in future partnerships. Warner and Lyons have put forth remarkable efforts to ensure a smooth approval process, which will allow for these partnerships to take place. From reading the student handbook cover to cover, to having lengthy conversations with faculty, their determination is palpable.

What should you expect in the next few months from TEA? First and foremost, the girls agree, the club must be presented to the Student Government Association prior to its recognition as an official club, which they hope will happen before Winter Break.

Once an official club, TEA will aim to provide a safe space for students, implement weekly meetings, connect LGBTQ students to resources, and plan programs including movie nights and facilitated discussions. They even hope to engage in service, from forming a Relay for Life team to volunteering at a LGBTQ homeless shelter in Manchester.

Warner, an active and passionate member of the Abbey Players, explains the club’s long-term objectives. The Abbey Players, she says, has an open and accepting environment that encourages identifying students to be themselves. Warner prompts, “How great would it be if ten years down the line the whole school had that same environment? Thanks to them, along with the supportive faculty, staff, and students, we are certainly moving in the right direction.”

If you want to join TEA, or simply learn more information, contact Kelsey ([email protected]) or Haley ([email protected]).  

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True Equality Alliance anticipates approval from SGA to be an official club