How GSA has established a safe and respectful space where LGBTQIA+ students can support one another in New Ulm Public Schools.
May 11, 2022
GSA, better known as gay-straight alliance, is a club at NUHS that was started by Josie Ringhofer with the help of Amber Stabenow, Ivan Neisen, Zachary Ramirez, and Keira Holberg. GSA was recently reinstated after events at NUHS made some students request more help from the school system.
The club has recently started going by PRISM: Pride Respect Individuality Support Movement. “The new name represents the group well,” said president Josie Ringhofer.
The group consists of 40+ members.
The goal of GSA is to further educate students about LGBTQIA+ challenges and create a safe space for Queer students to talk about issues faced in the school and come up with realistic solutions to these problems.
“In this group, I hope to accomplish a safe space at our school for the LGBTQ students here. I want students not to be afraid to go to school just because of their gender identity or their sexuality. I also hope to better educate other students in the school as well. A lot of this hate comes from not understanding or just not being educated on the topic. And lastly, I want to get a group that is established at our school and will stay here for many years to come, even when the current council leaves,” Ringhofer said.
Another set of goals comes from council member Zachary Ramirez: “I hope to see a GSA group that can continue to run in our school and create positive changes and an inclusive environment for all.”
The group meets every other Thursday, with smaller meetings with Mr. Bergman throughout the week.
A typical meeting starts during the first half of lunch. Each meeting consists of a specific topic that the group will then discuss. Discussions consist of personal experiences, opinions, and potential solutions. Everyone is encouraged to speak and share their input during group meetings. Previous topics have included other points of view in the community and mental health.
“I enjoy our open discussions and having a space to safely talk about common challenges and interests in the LGBTQ+ community,” Ramirez said.
Generic GSA Rules: Be respectful, no phones, listen to others’ opinions, and respect others’ pronouns and preferred names.
If you are interested in joining GSA contact any of the following council members: Josie Ringhofer, Amber Stabenow, Ivan Neisen, Zachary Ramirez, Keira Holberg, and advisor Mrs. Gloege.