West Georgia’s Queer Student Alliance (QSA) celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Oct.13.
Founded in the fall of 1972 by Dr. Ara Dostourian, the Queer Student Alliance is an organization for LGBTQ+ students and allies. They serve as a social club and a safe space that encourages and promotes activism, along with promoting solidarity on campus and in the surrounding region.
“To me, it is a safe space that fosters unity and works towards a better, friendlier West Georgia,” said Grayson Boyd, President of the Queer Student Alliance. “I’ve gotten emails from incoming freshmen wanting to know the safety of campus and if there are resources available for them. We might not know every gay person on campus, but we try to make sure every gay person knows of us and knows that they have a welcoming space with us.”
Throughout the year, QSA holds regular weekly meetings, Valentine’s box drive and an annual Drag Show, their largest event. Leading up to their big 50th celebration, QSA celebrated Pride Week with a fun event each day on campus beginning on Oct. 7. They gave out free ice cream, held a unity panel and hosted Safe Zone training. Their 50th birthday bash was held on campus on Oct. 13 and was open to students, alumni, faculty and the community. QSA ended the week with a family-friendly Pride event hosted at 4am Coffee Roasters Cafe & Bar on Oct. 14.
Currently, QSA holds the title of the oldest non-Greek organization on campus according to Wolf Connect, UWG’s club and organizations online portal.
“50 years on campus to me means unfiltered queer joy,” said Boyd. “Generations of people tied together through some form of camaraderie. If I don’t leave anything behind, I want people to look back with joy.”
QSA’s goal for the future is to simply persist. They want to continue to foster an environment that people want to come to and feel safe being in. For the next 50 years, they want to see QSA’s mission live on and membership continue to grow, giving queer students a place they can call home.
“Support your queer family and friends any way you can,” said Boyd.
QSA welcomes any allies interested in supporting the community and invites the queer community to attend their events to hang out in a safe space. To stay up to date on current events, follow them on Instagram @uwg_qsa.