by Jake Siewert
Syre 217 is normally a quiet room, used for reading or for students who need to catch up on those elusive z’s that they might have missed last night. However, each Friday at 1:30 p.m. that room fills up with a group of close friends who also happen to be a part of one of Whatcom Community College’s oldest clubs.
Though the group has gone through some name changes and member turnover, the Queer-Straight Alliance has had a presence on Whatcom’s campus for nearly seven years. Across the nation in high schools and colleges, there are more than 4,000 organizations like the QSA, whose mission is to bring acceptance and a safe, supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgendered students (LGBT).
“We definitely have a really friendly group,” said Max Yakavonis, 19. “I haven’t seen anybody not get along.”
The club stands up for acceptance and equality at all levels, and all seem to enjoy each other’s company.
The co-president of the QSA, Taylor Werner, 22, sees the club’s weekly meetings as the favorite part of her Friday.
“It’s the last thing I do on campus for the week,” she said, “I leave feeling really energized by the sense of community.”
The QSA has put on successful events this year. Earlier this year, they helped participate in a workshop at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Conference.
Werner is pleased to announce plans for performers from “Justin Credible’s Side Show”, a division of the Bellingham Circus Guild, to perform on campus.
With influences such as Charlie Chaplin, Steve Martin, and Salvador Dali, this zany, off the wall performance is unlike anything the campus will see all year, insists Werner.
The performance is part of the event “Cirque Noire” on February 17. It will be a complete three-ring circus sideshow, taking place in Syre Auditorium with breath-taking acts including sword swallowing, clowning, juggling, and unicycling. The one-night-only performance will be open to anyone, free of charge, and will be followed by a dance event.
“Cirque Noire” is co-sponsored by the QSA and Associated Students of Whatcom Community College.
Faculty advisor John Gonzales hyped the event by promising,“People can expect to see things they’ve never seen before, that will thrill and disgust them.”