RHS Students Want to Re-start GSA Club
RHS has many clubs and activities for students to be part of and a new one is on its way. The GSA club or gay straight alliance club is a club RHS had before. Senior Lauren Zaremba is working on getting it started again with Ms. Samantha Hoyo, a science teacher.
Ms. Hoyo explained that GSA started in the 80’s as a way for students to get together and be safe. She said Rockland is a really unique place in the fact that it is very accepting. She explained that GSA started as a safe place where people could come together and be themselves in an era when to be sexually nonconforming might get you beat up or killed or something of that nature.
Zaremba says our school should have a club of this kind because “the majority of our student population aren’t familiar with anything LGBTQ+, and therefore they lack empathy and an understanding of who we are, the problems, etcetera.”
She continued saying “most people, generally, have formed opinions without actually being educated about the topic.” Zaremba feels many people aren’t open to have their opinion challenged and having a club gives them a platform to do so.
It is important for RHS to have a club like this, says Ms. Hoyo because “it gives a place for the other” She explains what she means by the other. “What I mean by that is not everybody has a place. You know, some people are athletes, some are not, some people are theater people, some are musicians, this you can just be you regardless of other talents and or skills you have. It’s just a place to come together and educate the community and to educate each other and to be oneself.”
Having this club will give students a place to go and be “supported regardless of any other thing that they have going on,” said Ms. Hoyo.
While it varies from person to person, Zaremba says that having this club might help students with confidence. She explained from her own experience “finding a place to fit in and be supported will definitely encourage one to be more confident and comfortable to be themselves. If anything, it’ll help to know they’re not alone.”
Zaremba and Ms. Hoyo have similar hopes about the outcome of the club. They both hope that there will be a lot of students joining because “it’s all about just being supported for being you. And I think that all students can benefit from that supportive environment.” To join just look at the posters around the school “and stop by wherever it’s being held!”