The return of GSA club

When the Gay-Straight Alliance returns to Central Oregon Community College, it will have two new leaders at its head. Students Stacy Falcis and Cameron Huston are in negotiation with the Associated Students of COCC (ASCOCC) as two of the founding members of the new GSA club.

Scott Greenstone
The Broadside

When the Gay-Straight Alliance returns to Central Oregon Community College, it will have two new leaders at its head. Students Stacy Falcis and Cameron Huston are in negotiation with the Associated Students of COCC (ASCOCC) as two of the founding members of the new GSA club.
Huston, who moved to Bend from Ashland in March, sees few “safe places” in Central Oregon for people questioning their sexual orientation and he wanted to create one. He sees people joining the club “to support other people as human beings and get to know them.”
These two hope that more students will come forward and join them in growing the “seedling,” as Falcis described the club.
“It’s important to come together,” said Falcis. “I don’t want to be invisible in my community.”
Currently, the GSA is struggling to stay visible. The club was active during the 2010-11 school year, but when club leader Steph Jackson graduated, no one rose to take her place.
“When a strong leader leaves, sometimes the group dissipates,” said Matt Coito, ASCOCC Clubs Coordinator. “This was the case with the GSA.”
ASCOCC has been searching for months to find students dedicated to starting a GSA club once more.
“It needs a good foundation of dedicated students,” Coito said. “That makes a successful club.”
The formation of the new GSA club is one step away, according to Brandi Jordan, ASCOCC Outreach Coordinator.
“It’s just a matter of finding those right students,” said Jordan. “The club has an advisor and is ready to begin, but they need the dedication of COCC students to take the lead.”
Falcis and Huston will be two of the four founding students required for the club to start. Both students contacted Admissions in the last month to find a club such as GSA. Upon finding it had collapsed, they both decided to volunteer.
Falcis’s conviction to lead the club is rooted in her desire to protect others from her own experience. When Falcis was 21, she was physically assaulted by her taxi driver. Upon telling the police she was attacked because of sexual orientation, she said they suddenly had another call.
Falcis knows that there are others who are “invisible” in her community, but she believes that unity is their greatest defense. The Alliance’s directive, according to Falcis, is identifying strengths instead of weaknesses.
“When we’re alone, we’re isolated,” said Falcis. She believes that regardless of sexual orientation, this issue affects everyone.
“It could be someone in your family, or your best friend,” said Falcis. “We’re all brothers and sisters, and there’s a lot of ignorance going around.” said Falcis.
Falcis wants to build bridges and fight the ignorance that has affected her life and the lives of others at COCC.
With three of the four students needed for founding a club, the only thing standing in the GSA Club’s way is lack of student participation. On April 10th, a recruitment meeting occured in the ASCOCC room upstairs in the Campus Center to build the club’s member foundation.
“It’s all ready to go. We just need COCC students to take the lead,” said Jordan.

(Contact: sgreenstone@cocc.edu)

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