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The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

Revamped Representation

GSA reemerges at OHS
Revamped+Representation

GSA (Genders and Sexualities Alliance) is making its comeback at OHS after a year-long hiatus due to lack of sponsorship. 

“I talked to a couple of the faculty members…and we all kind of felt like there was a gap there,” new GSA sponsor Taylor Jokerst said. “There was probably a large group of students that were looking for somewhere to be together and that we didn’t really have somewhere for them to go.”

Jokerst and his co-sponsor Alexis Caldwell frequently discuss about the wellbeing of their students and decided that GSA is essential to the OHS community.

“I think in high school, it’s really hard if you don’t have a spot to go—if you don’t have a strong, supportive group of friends,” Caldwell said. “GSA being back on campus is going to be more inclusive, it’s going to create a community of just support, which I think kids really need.”

One student, who was a part of GSA before it took its hiatus, agrees.

“I think it can be really helpful for people to have a space where they can connect with people that are similar to them,” Rowan Busholtz (12) said. “It can just be nice for people to see that there are others that care and that we’re trying to make progress.”

GSA’s goal this year is to provide shared understanding for any and everyone.

“I think that offering that space for a conversation to happen can be really helpful,” Jokerst said. “Even people who don’t understand different perspectives and people who feel very strongly one way or another, it’s really good for us to come together and have conversations so we can understand each other better.”

Jokerst and Caldwell don’t have many preliminary plans for the club this year—they’d like club members to contribute—but they do have a few priorities in terms of what they want to accomplish.

“I think one of our biggest goals is just visibility and just acknowledging that these people are part of our community and were all here to work together,” Jokerst said.

“Visibility” for the LGBTQ+ community means being represented in all areas of life. For example, days or events that are significant to the community being practiced at school like Day of Silence, which spreads awareness about the effects of bullying on people in the LGBTQ+ community, or further support resources for LGBTQ+ youth being made accessible to everyone in the school.

“We talk all the time about mental health crises for people who are in that group, and a lot of the time it’s because they don’t have a strong sense of community,” Jokerst said. “So getting that sense of community and visibility can really be helpful for creating some sustaining relationships for people.”

All are welcome at GSA meetings: all sexualities, genders and walks of life. Sponsors and members alike believe the only things that should be left at the door are preconceptions and prejudices.

“Come to our meetings,” Caldwell said, “see what we’re all about and just keep an open mind.”

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About the Contributor
Ava Chancellor, Editor-in-Chief
I'm Ava, and I am a senior at OHS and the Managing Editor-in-Chief of The Prowl. In my free time, I like to read (especially historical fiction), go shopping, watch Charmed and work out. I love to travel, go to concerts and try new restaurants with my friends and family. I am planning to go to a university on the East or West Coast and study political science, music and Spanish.

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