This fall, MSPP started an LGBTQ interest group for students, faculty, and staff. The group is currently being called the Gay Straight Alliance. I interviewed the group’s two faculty co-chairs, Dr. Jessica Stahl and Dr. Sara Orozco, in order to find out more about the purpose of the group and how students can get involved. This is what I learned:
Q: What are the purpose and goals of the group?
A: The purpose is to provide space for people interested in LGBT issues. We want to increase awareness within the school, as well as within the community at large because many people attend MSPP for Continuing Education and other classes. We wanted to offer more support, resources, and a friendlier environment for students, employees, and the community.
Q: How can students be directly involved?
A: Students can attend meetings once a month. The committee will intend to be as inclusive as possible by alternating meeting dates to accommodate the schedules of all who are interested. Even if students cannot attend the meetings, an online MyCampus Gay Straight Alliance page will be set up in order for people to post ideas, comments, feedback, and discussion questions. Students can also attend social events, film showings, and other activities. We want the group to be fun, engaging, and educational!
Q: How did the National Coming Out Day social event go last week?
A: The event was very well attended and positive. There was a mix of students from different programs, faculty, and staff. An upcoming event associated with the group is on October 20th, in support of the young people who recently took their lives as a partial result of issues related to their sexual identity, we will encourage the MSPP community to wear purple.
Q: How will the GSA group affect the MSPP community?
A: We need to find a way, as a community of therapists, to respond to all of the current events that have taken place recently in regards to LGBT suicides and violence. MSPP should have a voice, and we need to be able to serve this specific community.
Q: How can incoming students next fall get involved?
A: Students can e-mail the group at GSA@MSPP.edu with questions or comments/ideas about what you would like to do or see in the future with the group. You may also find it useful to ask what it is like to attend MSPP as a queer-identified student, and how this may affect your professional career. Any questions or comments are welcomed!
I think that the start of this group is a great initiative to acknowledge an underserved population within our school & the larger Boston community. I'm looking forward to attending GSA events throughout the year, and I hope that this group can serve as a great resource for all MSPP students!