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How We Came to Be

     Sometime back in the spring of 1995, a group of several kids and a pseudo-advisor went to the GLSTNcon (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Teacher Network) and obtained a stack of paper about an inch high dealing with starting up a GSA. We were all fired up, and set about the task. Proper paperwork was filed at our school, the North Andover High School, possible advisors were approached, and permission was obtained. We then attended a variety of other workshops and cons in our area, including a Safe Schools Con run by the Department of Education. A grant form was filled out seeking a grant from the state, and plans were made for that fall. A small group of people held several organizational meetings and also went to a few of the Andover GSA meetings. Visiting established GSAs is really helpful!

      Finally, we were ready for our first formal meeting. Posters were put up, announcements were made, and friends were asked to come. We had 36 people our first meeting, a phenomenal amount. However, this amount of people did not last very long. The number has died down to about 15 people who regularly attend meetings, which is still a good amount. After having to move the place of our meetings several times, we finally found a spot, and things really started getting done. We attented several functions at the State House, went to Mass Youth Pride Marches, and gave most of our school a survey. However, our biggest event yet was when we held a community information night. We had guest speakers and generally tried to spread awareness of our group. Even though attendance wasn't as high as we wanted, we feel that the night was a great accomplishment.

      Then came last fall, and our second year as a GSA. After a slow start, our GSA seems to be functioning again. We have been holding meetings every Tuesday from 2-3 in room #221. At these meetings we have been discussing future plans for our group. We hope to re-survey our school to see how much of an affect we have had, we plan to do something with our student council during diversity week, and we would also like to try and set up some sort of a prom for local GSAs (we tried last year but we weren't successful.) We were suppose to attend the Safe Schools con this spring, but unfortunately we did not turn in our form on time, (we are somewhat disorganized) and couldn't go. We have also watched a couple of movies, including Philadelphia and The Birdcage, and plan to watch more.

      If you are in a GSA or just know of any activities coming up, please contact us. Also, if you would like to do any sort of group GSA activity, we will be more than willing. We really need all the help we can get in planning activities.

You can also contact the Mass. Dept. of Education, GLSTN, PFLAG, and other such sites.