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Alliance attends the annual Gay Straight Alliance Summit

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Three members of the Alliance club and their advisor Jenna Ritter attended the 11 annual Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Summit at Dickinson College on March 1.


The Alliance club is a club built on the idea of acceptance and loving your peers no matter their differences. While Alliance focuses specifically on members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Plus (LGBT+) community and their straight allies, it has a general message of accepting others.


This summit is the only one of its kind in central PA, and its goal is to present an opportunity for students and professionals to meet, network, and participate in workshops that focus on helping everyone better understand and advocate for the LGBT+ community.


Alliance uses money obtained through their fundraising to pay for student members to attend

The GSA Summit, which is a workshop-based event put on by the LGBT+ Society of Central Pennsylvania.


Tickets for students were $10 and professionals were $40.


The society hosts the event at the college for two days for high school students (March 1 and 2) to attend and one day for college members of GSA clubs to attend.


Each year the summit is held at Dickinson college.


A GSA club is very similar to our Alliance club, but under a different name. They do many of the same things, but also often hold awareness events. They are also much larger on the collegiate level.


The event started with a Keynote Speaker in the morning. The speaker was followed by two morning breakout sessions, the breakout sessions are workshops that each student and advisor in attendance choose to attend.


Afterwards, the society running the event gives everyone in attendance lunch.


Lastly, there was an afternoon breakout session in the same fashion as the morning sessions.


Alliance goes to this event because “It is a great opportunity for students in Alliance club to meet students from other schools with similar interests and keeps me and the students educated on current issues, topics, and language in the LGBT+ community,” said Ritter.

Each member in attendance went to different sessions.

Freshman Benigna Polanco attended three sessions, “Understanding yourself, understanding others,” “Sexual health is resistance,” and “LGBT+ youth in 2018.”

“They were all very intriguing, and some mentioned topics I never really thought about before,” Said Polanco.

Ritter attended a session called “What’s in a name?” on LGBT+ acronyms and their meanings. She then attended a session called “Trans Youth Policy” on the dangers that transgender youth face in today’s society.


She then attended an advisors only session in which they brainstormed ways to improve their clubs’ presence in their schools and increase involvement.


Ritter’s biggest take away from the event was that “people are just people who want to be acknowledged and loved.”

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Alliance attends the annual Gay Straight Alliance Summit