Digital History at Ursinus

"GALA Seeks Recognition," October 22, 1991

Dublin Core


"GALA Seeks Recognition," October 22, 1991


Official recognition of GALA


Narrative recounting GALA's efforts to be official recognized by the SAC and the various opinions of several members of the student body.


Melisa Miller


The Grizzly


Ursinus College


October 22, 1991



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Homosexuality is a subject that sparks deep emotion and can bring out strong feelings either good or bad in both the students and faculty of the Ursinus campus. Is there a need for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance on this campus? That seems to be the question that has come about as a result of all the posters that the campus was bombarded with on October 11th. The letter that was sent to the student body also raised some questions. As junior Ralph Handy said, "I was astonished by the letter, I feel they contradicted themselves by not signing the letter, and then saying that they were coming out of the closet. They also said to contact a faculty member, but they did not say who."

The GALA constitution went before SAC to be passed on Wednesday October 16th and a decision is still pending. Some problems that were addressed at this meeting were how the club was going to be an active part of the Ursinus community, but remain anonymous. As a clause in the constitution, GALA members want to be anonymous and students that are interested would have to be channeled through a faculty advisor, Dr. Oboler. The committee was trying to determine how they were going to plan events that would involve the whole campus if the members were to be anonymous. One GALA did not want the officers of the club to be listed in the student directory because they were worried about being harassed by other students and the surrounding community. One of the members of the committee asked them if they realized the low opinion of their student peers that they held. This GALA member felt that there is widespread homophobia on this campus and that this campus is just not ready for GALA. Another problem that was addressed was that the GALA constitution stated that alumni could also be eligible to join, but both the committee and GALA seemed to agree to drop this clause.

The members of the GALA that were present at the SAC meeting have done their research and have talked with other groups on campuses in this area. They have attended conferences and have worked with PRISMA on how to go about starting a club. The objectives of the club outlined in the constitution include having a social outlet for the homosexual population on campus, give emotional support and counseling within the group about the personal issues of being a homosexual, sponser activities to promote greater self-awareness, and to heighten awarenss and combat homophobia within the Ursinus community.

Student reaciton across the campus has been diverse, from "I am against homosexuality" to "I am confused and do not know what to think." One sophomore who wished to remain anonymous commented, "It offends me, gay and lesbian acts are private, and I do not approve of the public organization such as GALA that Ursinus would support."

Now it is up to SAC to decide if there is a need for a GALA and if the constitution should be passed. They are debating as to whether the campus will benefit form [sic] the organization or if its confidentiality clause will cause to many problems with student membership. As one sorority pledge said, "I think it is a good idea if they realize the pressure they will be receiving from the Ursinus student body. But they do need a support network just like anybody other club on campus."




Melisa Miller , “"GALA Seeks Recognition," October 22, 1991 ,” Digital History at Ursinus, accessed September 21, 2020,