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Future uncertain for Central Oregon Gay-Straight Alliance

Marc Mauch

The Broadside

The weekly meeting of the Central Oregon Gay-Straight Alliance scheduled for last Thursday never materialized when the chapter organizer failed to make an appearance, casting doubt on the club’s future at Central Oregon Community College and OSU-Cascades.

On the eve of the National Day of Silence event, which topped the week’s agenda, the GSA’s Central Oregon Chapter meeting had a turnout of only three people.

Chadd Rivard, who sends emails for the club and was the only official member present for the failed meeting, said he believed the poor turnout may have been due to a last minute scheduling change, but when questioned about the absence of the club’s own organizer, Stefanie Jackson, Rivard had no answers.

Repeated attempts at the meeting to contact Jackson were unsuccessful.

“I think she is pissed about the info fair,” said Rivard, in reference to the COCC club information event held April 13and 14 at which the GSA had no representation.

“We should have a meeting anyway,” stated Michelle Lundy, a 25-year-old Humanities student at COCC and one of the meeting’s only two other attendees.

When asked about the week’s agenda items Rivard told the others that Jackson had hoped the meeting might generate some ideas for students to show support for the National Day of Silence the following day.

The Day of Silence is a national event sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network in which, according to their website, students from middle school through college take a vow of silence for a day to “illustrate the silencing effect of bullying and harassment of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered students.”

“We should make t-shirts or something,” suggested Adam “Diva-star” Wegner, of Portland who was attending the meeting in hopes of seeing Jackson with whom he states he is a close friend.

The meeting ended shortly after with no consensus about the Day of Silence.

In response to inquiries a few days later, Rivard stated he feared the Central Oregon GSA might officially be “disbanded,” if Jackson decides to step down as president.

“I have too much on my plate to take it on myself,” said Rivard.

You may contact Marc Mauch at mmauch@cocc.edu

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