Image of GLSEN National Student Council member Sameer

GLSEN is heading back to school with a whole new National Student Council! The 2018-2019 National Student Council members took to GLSEN's Instagram to introduce themselves - and share their community-building expertise to help you achieve all your #GSAgoals this year! 

In addition to their tips, check out our Jumpstart Guide for ways that you can get your GSA started (or restarted!). And remember to register your GSA or similar student-led LGBTQ club to get all the latest resources and updates from GLSEN!

1. Imani (they/them)

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We asked GLSEN's new 2018-2019 National Student Council for their tips on starting (or re-starting) the their GSAs in their upcoming school year. Here's what @rostampon (they/them) from Rocky River shared: "#gsagoals: the best way to have a successful GSA is to get people to your meetings !! Start planning now, in fact, never stop planning ! People are more likely to come to GSA meetings/events if they know they can rely on a snack and an inclusive place to unwind. The best way to let people know who you are is to advertise and have frequent events. Advertisements go beyond flyers and social media posts! Current GSA members are living, breathing advertisements for inclusivity and warmth. If people see YOU being inclusive, they are more likely to join the GSA that you’re a part of." . . How are you starting off your student-led #LGBTQ club this year? Make sure to visit the link in bio to find all the resources you need to head #backtoschool! #InclusiveSchools #SafeSchools #gaystraightalliance #gendersexualityalliance #spectrumclub #rainbowclub #lesbian #gay #bi #trans #queer #nonbinary

A post shared by GLSEN (@glsen) on Aug 21, 2018 at 9:55am PDT


2. Clay (flexible pronouns)


3. JP (he/him)


4. Juno (they/them)


5. Darid (they/them)

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We are welcoming GLSEN's 2018-2019 National Student Council by asking them their tips for GSA's heading #BackToSchool. Here's the advice @Justrid1 (17, They/Them) shared for clubs trying to accomplish all of their #GSAgoals this year: "GSAs are about valuing all people regardless of whether they're gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, or questioning. So make sure to form a Community Agreement and set guidelines to build a safe space and develop a sense of community for LGBTQ+ youth to thrive and excel as individuals. Also don’t be afraid to get involved and have fun!" #LetYouthLead#gaystraightalliance #queerstraightalliance#QSA #rainbowcoalition #spectrum#LGBTQ #lesbian #gay #bi #trans #queer#nonbinary

A post shared by GLSEN (@glsen) on Aug 23, 2018 at 4:00pm PDT


6. El (they/them)

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2018-2019 GLSEN National Student Council member @a_queer_person (16, they/them) shared their thoughts on the best ways to reach your #GSAgoals this year: "I honestly believe that the key to a successful GSA is inclusivity. Look around you, are there groups that aren’t represented within your alliance? Why might some students hesitate to join? Be intersectional in your mindset as you perform outreach. Speaking of outreach, make sure the student body knows you exist! Send out email reminders, polls, and bring in snacks to personalize your GSA to the needs of your members. As important as it is to stay active and educational, it’s also important to take the time to bond with those around you." How do you create an inclusive student-led #LGBTQ club at your school? #LetYouthLead #gaystraightalliance #queerstraightalliance #QSA#rainbowcoalition #spectrum#LGBTQ#lesbian #gay #bi #trans #queer #nonbinary

A post shared by GLSEN (@glsen) on Aug 24, 2018 at 10:37am PDT


7. Victorea (she/her, they/them)

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As students are heading #BackToSchool and back to their GSAs, GLSEN's new National Student Council is sharing tips for GSAs hoping to achieve all of their #GSAgoals this year! Victorea Camille (16, she/her, they/them) stresses the importance of communication: "Communication with all members so super important!! Making sure that everyone is getting what they need from the club be it safety, validation, or community. If your club is working together like a well oiled machine, then y’all will be able to spread that joy and sense of unity to the entire school!" How are you keeping your #GSA connected this year? #GSAgoals #LetYouthLead #gaystraightalliance #queerstraightalliance #QSA #rainbowcoalition #spectrum #LGBTQ #lesbian #gay #bi #trans #queer #nonbinary

A post shared by GLSEN (@glsen) on Aug 25, 2018 at 3:30pm PDT


8. Brianna (she/her)

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Need help getting your #GSA started as you head #BackToSchool? 2018-2019 GLSEN National Student Council member Brianna (14, she/her) and president of her school's GSA has some tips: "Advertising is KEY! Spread the word and let people know what your GSA is all about. Anytime you can further publicize the GSA at your school, do it! At events such as club night, maybe make a poster with some information and pictures of the events held by your GSA in the past years, to let people get a feel of what it consists of. Let people get to know what the atmosphere of your GSA is." Find more resources for your GSA at the link in bio! #GSAgoals #LetYouthLead #gaystraightalliance #queerstraightalliance #QSA #rainbowcoalition #spectrum #LGBTQ #lesbian #gay #bi #trans #queer #nonbinary

A post shared by GLSEN (@glsen) on Aug 26, 2018 at 4:30pm PDT


9. Anaïs (any pronouns)


10. Sameer (he/him or they/them)

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2018-2019 GLSEN National Student Council member @sameerhjha (16, he/him or they/them) wants to share info that will get your #GSA rolling as you head #BackToSchool: "Always bring food! People will be much more willing to venture into your GSA if they know you have delicious treats. They'll come for the food and stay for the gay! Also, try to partner with other organizations on campus that can provide an intersectional perspective, or bring in guest speakers with voices that are usually underrepresented or silenced. This can help bring in more members, but more importantly it will keep your GSA a place of inclusivity." A meeting with snacks? #GSAgoals for real! #GSAgoals #LetYouthLead #gaystraightalliance #queerstraightalliance #QSA #rainbowcoalition #spectrum #LGBTQ #lesbian #gay #bi #trans #queer #nonbinary

A post shared by GLSEN (@glsen) on Aug 28, 2018 at 11:30am PDT


11. Thomas/Selena (he/him, she/hers)


12. Liam (he/him)


13. Jessica (she/her)

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New GLSEN National Student Council member @jessicachiriboga17 (16, she/her) shares her wisdom about creating a successful #GSA as you head back to school: "The first step is definitely raising awareness about your club! Whether that comes through videos, club week, posters, social media, or so on, the goal should be to establish that there is a safe space for ALL people at your high school. Meetings should be engaging exciting, and that comes through utilizing icebreakers and presentations to further educate your GSA. Try to attend a couple events (or organize your own community events) as a GSA to grow even more as a family. And, as always, emphasize that your GSA is a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies!!" How are you setting up your GSA as a safe space this year? #LetYouthLead #gaystraightalliance #queerstraightalliance #QSA #rainbowcoalition #spectrum #LGBTQ #lesbian #gay #bi #trans #queer #nonbinary

A post shared by GLSEN (@glsen) on Aug 29, 2018 at 4:30pm PDT


14. DaShay (they/them)


15. Sayer (she/her)


16. Sarah (she/her)


17. Cruz (they/them, he/him)

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2018-2019 GLSEN National Student Council member @cruzilious has a simple but effective tip for creating an inclusive #GSA when you head #BackToSchool: "ask! gsas are supposed to be safe spaces for all members, but it can only be one if everyone is asked about their needs and wants for the year. every members needs can be different so without asking gsa’s can struggle in trying different perspectives for members and could soon crumble. Know that without intersectional teaching, the gsa will possibly not know a fuller understanding of how it impacts everyone's needs. gsa’s aren’t there to cover just one persons needs, they aren’t to cover just a single orientation or gender identity, they aren’t to cover one single topic, they are to cover needs of all members. so ask for needs, don’t assume!!" How will you make sure your #GSA is inclusive this year? #GSAgoals #LetYouthLead #gaystraightalliance #queerstraightalliance #QSA #rainbowcoalition #spectrum #LGBTQ #lesbian #gay #bi #trans #queer #nonbinary

A post shared by GLSEN (@glsen) on Sep 1, 2018 at 5:05pm PDT


18. Kian (they/them or he/him)

Don't forget to register your GSA to join the largest network student-led LGBTQ clubs in the country!