By John Ferrannini and Lena Dobynes
Fierce, a club on campus that seeks to help and represent lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, held their first meeting of the semester Friday. Members discussed their plans for outreach in the new semester.
“This semester we want to be more social,” said club President Brett Spencer.
Ideas for social events, such as a movie night, were suggested as good ways to reach out to the campus.
“Our clubs wants to be more open – more social,” said Vice President Justin Nicholson. “We want to be able to spread awareness as well as provide information and support to others in our community.”
The club’s Treasurer, Kat Arnott, hopes to start a website on the club’s behalf as another method of providing information about Fierce and events hosted by the club.
“This is a loving community – from the first time I came to the meetings,” Arnott said. “People really care about everyone – it is a safe place.”
In 2008, the American River College student government came out in favor of Proposition 8. Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriage in California until it was overturned by federal courts in 2013. In the weeks before and after the student government’s decision, there was tension between students in favor and opposed to same-sex marriage.
Spencer reiterated that club membership is open to any American River College student, but that all students at club meetings should be respectful.
“If someone comes in here and is oppositional and wants to make people feel unsafe – and that has happened on our campus before, we have an ugly history of that – we want to get some guidelines so we can ask them to leave,” said Spencer.
Susan Howe, an English professor and one of the co-faculty advisers of the club, announced that the district has approved a new transferrable course, English Literature 365, which will cover LGBTQ literature. The class will be available to enroll in the Fall semester of this year.
Spencer encouraged all those who showed up to the meeting to invite friends to future meetings.
“Our allies are our strongest strength. Bring your straight friends,” he said.
Spencer said that he wants a place where all LGBT students can come and participate in the community.
“Some of us are activists who like to put ourselves out there. Others are scared to death people will find out,” he said.
The next club meeting will be on Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. in the Hub in the Student Center.