As you may have noticed, our club is currently undergoing a name change. We were recently approved by Student Life to change our name from Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) to Students for Queer Advocacy (SQuAd), which is really exciting news. You may be wondering why we felt the need to change the name. Ann Hoelscher (Class of ‘11), in an email to the director of Student Life, outlined these specific and comprehensive reasons for the name change:
1.We agreed that this name would be more inclusive— rather than creating a binary suggesting everyone in the club is “gay” or “straight,” we are using a more commonly accepted umbrella term, “queer,” to describe the special interest group. The word “queer” covers gender identities as well as sexual orientations, both of which we want to include.
2. The new name would differentiate between preconceived ideas of what a GSA “is” or “does” that students often have in their highschools and before coming to Muhlenberg. These groups are often social networks, which our club wants to be as well. However, we also consider ourselves to be a politically active organization that strives for social awareness and the education of the community as well as functioning as a “social” club.
3. We think it’s important to emphasize the power of students on campus.
4. To say we are “Students for Queer Advocacy” doesn’t describe our own personal gender or sexual identities, but rather the work that we do— “advocacy”— which encompasses the goals of the group more than “alliance,” which we believe is unclear.
5. It’s a catchy name that will differentiate us from the rest of campus!
Ultimately, our new name is more inclusive and better outlines our purposes and goals as a club on campus. We look forward to continuing our work on campus as the Students for Queer Advocacy!