JCCC Gender Sexuality Alliance speaks at BVNW


Nicole Tenold

BVNW graduate Andy Morgan starts out the Q&A session.

Cameron Hamm, Writer

A panel from the Gender Sexuality Alliance club of JCCC visited BVNW to discuss shifting from high school to collegiate life today.

JCCC student and BVNW graduate Andy Morgan, whose position in GSA is to develop community outreach, said the main goal of the panel was to start establishing communication between the community college and surrounding school districts. Morgan said this panel was important because it provided a potential outlet for GSA members after high school.

“I feel like it’s very important for high school students to see that…after high school there is somewhere for [them] to go,” Morgan said.  “A lot of the trouble going to JCCC after high school is you don’t necessarily know there is a [GSA group] to go to.”

Senior Carli Plymale, who is a co-president of GSA at BVNW, said she was glad to learn about the transition and potential problems GSA students face when moving from high school to college. Plymale said the panel was beneficial in the fact that it reassured her that life for LGBT students does improve after high school.

Plymale said she was happy with the turnout that came to the panel, mainly because she saw new people who are not currently in GSA. She also stated, “There’s always room for more people.”

Plymale said although BVNW as a community is respectful of the LGBT community, there is more work to be done to make students feel more included.

“I think for kids to [feel safe and be] more open with who they are, we just need to have a conversation and educate people about all the different types of people there are…and share our experiences,” Plymale said.

BVNW GSA sponsor Keri Schumacher said even though the turnout to the panel was not necessarily big, it was still a worthwhile experience.

“All the kids that were there…really expressed a positive experience and I know the panelists really enjoyed coming out, too,” Schumacher said. “It was really nice to hear [the panel] talk about how once you get out of high school, people tend to either become more accepting or open minded…that was probably the best takeaway from today’s panel.”