Members of the GSA come together for a “healing circle” last week in front of the music building.
by Sara Almalla, staff writer
This Monday, the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club held their first healing circle meeting. Club members and friends got together on the grassy field behind the music building to discuss stress and their coping strategies.
A healing circle is essentially just a group therapy session, in which anyone can ask for and give advice as well as simply discussing current situations that may be affecting people in the group.
GSA President Victoria Alvarado planned this event after attending a healing circle. Alvarado thinks events like these are important, “especially within a community that deals with a lot of problems in every day life, you know? It’s an oppressed group. Plus, it’s pre-finals time so I thought this was a good time to let some positivity in their lives. Let them feel heard and let them know there are people who support them.”
Several of the students brought mats and blankets to lie out on the grass and form a misshapen circle. Water, Capri Suns, and emergency tissues were placed in the middle of the circle in preparation. As an icebreaker, everyone introduced themselves by stating their name, preferred gender pronouns, and what they did that weekend.
In lieu of the upcoming finals, the topics circled around dealing with stress. For the duration of the hourlong meeting, students talked about different coping mechanisms, what they found worked, what did not and possible triggers of stress and anxiety.
Several students talked about how they often found that they would turn to cleaning and organizing things when they were feeling overwhelmed and stressed, because it helped them feel in control of their lives. They noted that this was only a temporary solution and the stress would return when they ran out of things to organize. A few others offered their own stress coping mechanisms, such as writing down what they need to do or simply how they are feeling.
A few GSA students from Pierce community college attended the event as well.
“Despite how one identifies themselves, whether it’s gender or orientation, everyone deals with stress and what life throws at them,” said Alvarado, “so I thought it was just fitting to have a healing circle for everyone. Anyone who wants to join, not only to support other people in the LGBT, but to show their support as allies as well.”
Alvarado hopes to make the healing circle a semester event. Currently, the GSA club meets once a week, every Monday in the Foreign Language building, room 112 at 1:30 pm.