GSA takes first step towards resource center

Members of the Bellevue College Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) are optimistic after meeting with BC president Jean Floten and her staff to discuss granting the GSA a room in the Student Programs building.

On Tuesday March 26th, five members of the GSA met with Floten for 30 minutes to discuss a new location that would become both a “safe space” and a group and activities center for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ) community at Bellevue College.

Alexandra Simas was among the five members presenting the GSA’s proposition.

“We were very hopeful coming into the meeting.”

Members of the GSA were surprised when Floten openly expressed that she was “very committed” to granting the GSA’s request.

While the administration has yet to make an official decision, it seems likely to both parties that a new center will be granted.

“There’s no way it’s not going to happen,” said Lucinda Taylor, the executive assistant to Jean Floten.

According to Taylor, the GSA’s presentation eems to have made a strong impression with the President’s staff.

“Their argument was very impressive, well organized, and thought-out,” she said.

The GSA already has big plans for the center beyond their weekly meetings.

Rebecca Fischler, who worked on the presentation, said there will be many other groups that work with the GSA in the new center. Among the various groups would include support organizations for victims of domestic abuse and for “queer people of color”.

The five GSA members present at the meeting were varied in terms of race, age, and gender.

“The LGBTQ community isn’t just all white or middle class or eighteen or just a bunch of lesbians. We are very diverse and one thing this center will provide is something for everyone,” said Simas.

While most of the details regarding the new center are still unclear, both parties have expressed interest in renovating C225 in Student Programs to become the new GSA headquarters.

The 600 square feet room already seems right to Fischler.

“All we just need is a space. All the rest—we can make that happen,” she said.

While the outcome of the meeting has yet to be determined, Fischler knows that it was a success.

“People are starting to come to realize that this is very important for the entire community to have,” she said.

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