What is GASP?
GASP (short for “Gay and Straight People”) is a student organization at PUC that functions as a support group for LGBTQ students, allowing them to talk openly about the issues they face and to receive guidance from others who are going through similar experiences. The group also invites heterosexual students who would like to become more familiar with the challenges faced by homosexuals to participate in discussion. For a small glimpse of the work GASP engages in please read Pacific Union College’s Gay-Straight Alliance Expands Adventist Learning Community originally published in the Campus Chronicle on May 31, 2012.
Why do we need GASP?
The negative stigma and silence regarding homosexuality here at PUC has ensured that many LGBTQ students choose to hide who they are out of fear of rejection. These students often live in a world in which many of the things that most people take for granted (the support of family, the fellowship of friends, the security of a loving community, and even the acceptance of God) are seen as dependent upon their silence. The chronic fear of reaching out to others often leads to loneliness, depression, anxiety, isolation, and thoughts of suicide. GASP aims to provide a supportive social network in which students can feel comfortable talking about these issues and working through their challenges together.
What are the goals of GASP?
GASP seeks to provide a social network for LGBTQ students, their families, and their friends that will achieve the following goals:
Support – GASP intend to establish a network through which LGBTQ students, as well as supportive friends and family members, can receive the support they need.
Fellowship – We hope to reduce the isolation felt by LGBTQ students through fellowship with others who are going through similar experiences.
Education – We aim to further the well-being of LGBTQ students on campus by responding through education to ignorance, intolerance, and homophobia both at PUC and in our society.
What does GASP have to do with the SafePlace Program?
Both the SafePlace Program and GASP aim to fulfill the same goal: support to LGBTQ students at PUC through open and honest discourse.
When does it meet?
GASP meets on Thursdays every other week at 8:00pm in Fisher Hall 206. Meetings for the Fall quarter of the 2016-2017 school year will be on: October 6, October 20, November 3, November 17, and December 1.
Can I come even if I’m not a student?
Yes. Everyone is invited to attend GASP meetings.
Where can I find more information on GASP?
For more information on GASP, please visit our website, Facebook group, where you can find updates on meetings, events, activities, and issues as well as a place to participate in the discussions. You can also join the GASP mailing list by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “Join GASP Mailing List” in the subject line.