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Ready for a fabulous year: The Gay-Straight Alliance

Eric Ercanbrack

The Broadside

GSA, a club at Central Oregon Community College that offers a safe environment to a diverse group of students, starts strong this year with many events planned in the future.Headlines of papers across the country recently read about multiple accounts of youth suicide as a result of bullying. The reason for bullying: homosexuality. Out of the three suicides occurring in November, 18 year old Rutgers University student jumped off a bridge after being bullied.

“We aim to provide a safe, fun and educational environment for students, faculty, and community members that believe in expanding and promoting diversity and equality in this community,” wrote Stephanie Jackson, president of COCC’s GSA.

The gsa network’s website describes the importance of a GSA as it “provide[s] a safe place to socialize, and create a platform for activism to fight homophobia and transphobia.” The website also elaborates on the impact a GSA can have on schools as a way to curb bullying by providing a safe haven for students.

Questions of bullying have arisen in the last month amongst schools nation wide with nearly nine out of 10 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school according to Gay Lesbian and Strait Education Network’s 2007 National School Climate Survey.

“We are also trying to form a more tight knit LGBT community in Central Oregon, by providing and promoting events aimed specifically towards the needs of LGBT individuals,” said Jackson about the upcoming year. “We seek to spread awareness through film, speakers, demonstrations, and activism as well as through our everyday interactions with the community.”

The GSA has many events planned this year, one of which includes a screening of a documentary about the Stonewall riots.

“We are going to have some parties this year,” said Jackson humorously during their last meeting while the GSA club laughed and agreed.

If you have questions about COCC’s GSA email:

You may contact Eric Ercanbrack at



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