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AICS South GSA
AICS South (aka AICS main) is an international school in Amsterdam. The school's following of the International Baccalaureate has resulted in a diverse community with students from all over the world with different cultures and values. AICS South's tolerance of the LBGTQIA+ community is rather high in comparison to other schools in the Netherlands. However, misinformation is still very existent, and the group's goal is to change this whilst offering a safe space for members to be proud of their identity. We are therefore an activist, support, and social club all at once! The organizers are DP1 students (graduating in 2023) who wish to create a safer environment in AICS South. This club is a part of the Diversity group, a group in AICS made to educate members of the AICS community about diversity.
01 mrt 2022 I discussed the changes that need to be done to the poster with Lorana. Unfortunately, she no longer has the poster’s editable document; only the JPEG file. She will try to make the edits on the JPEG. If this fails, I believe we might need to create a new poster, or attempt to recreate the current one.
We should also talk with the diversity group about goals for this year.
Here is a to-do-list:
- Edit poster
- Print poster
- Have a meeting with the diversity group
- Contact AICS student council Instagram account
- Consider sending email to school (or newsletter)
- Reserve classroom
- Have another meeting with the diversity group (once we get more members)
28 feb 2022 Welcome back! I hope everyone had a lovely break and did well in their exams.
It is now time to begin advertising. We already have a lovely poster design created by Lorana around the start of the club’s creation. However, the email of Nancy, the member who left the school, remains on the poster. This means slight changes need to be done to the poster before it can be used.
24 jan 2022 The meeting went great! We started by introducing the GSA and listing what the club has done so far.
He asked some questions about the club’s goals to further understand the GSA, and we then began asking our questions. The following is a summary of the conclusions that were reached:
1. Make sure not to put posters where they could remove paint, as this is a new building. Also don’t put them on windows
2. He could send an email to the whole school for us. It could also be put in the school newsletter. He would prefer avoiding an Instagram account, as he can’t lend the school’s name to all clubs. However, he suggested messaging the current student council Instagram account, asking for a post to be made about us.
3. We can email him to reserve a classroom once we know when our meetings would take place.
‘I agree with the club in principle, it’s just about figuring out the details’, Mr de Groote explained. He also mentioned that we might be able to use the diversity group’s budget for our activities, but I informed him we have already made this happen.
Mr. de Groote seemed genuinely interested in making the creation of the club as easy as possible. His support brings security to the club. With the end of this meeting, it has become significantly less likely that protest against the club from staff, parents, or fellow peers will result in our fall.
It also means that it is now finally possible to begin advertising and officially starting the club. However, an exam week is close. We have made the decision that it is best that this phase occurs after the test week. The next phase will come after this test week.
Good luck with your tests everyone! Study hard, and see you guys soon!
22 jan 2022 Our meeting with Mr. de Groote is in two days. Letao, Lorana, and I will be present for this meeting. Here are the points the need to be discussed.
1. Any rules we should be aware of regarding posters? Where can we place them, where can we not place them, and is there anything we should avoid writing on them?
2. How can we advertise the group further? Would it be possible to send an email to the whole school? How about an Instagram account?
3. Where could we have our meetings? How can we reserve classrooms?
4. What do you think about the club? Any advice regarding what our goals should be?
5. Is there anything else we should know? Perhaps there are certain protocols to create clubs?
I wrote some key points to have with us as we speak with Mr. de Groote:
⁃ GSA is an International organization who aids students create lgbtq+ groups
⁃ Gender and sexuality alliance
⁃ Gay straight alliance
⁃ GSA groups are student-led and can be found in schools
⁃ They usually have supervisors
⁃ And they can function as a social group, so members of the lgbtq+ community can find fellow members of the community and not feel alone
⁃ A support group, helping lgbtq+ members with, coming out to parents, feeling isolated, and the difficult parts to the lgbtq+ experience
⁃ And an activist group, informing the school community of issues centered around the lgbtq+ community and trying to help fix them
⁃ We have a supervisor, Ms. Bronswijk
⁃ We have worked very closely with the diversity group in south east, as we couldn’t get in contact with main’s
⁃ We did Purple Friday last year
⁃ We painted people’s nails offering candy to the ones who did
⁃ We plan to handle activities of this type, bringing the topic of the lgbtq+ into the discussion, and informing the misleaded or unaware
⁃ We asked for this meeting to get your permission to officially begin as a group, advertising the group’s existence and accepting other members
⁃ Part in the newsletter
⁃ Instagram account
⁃ Does he have ideas
⁃ Where could we have meetings
⁃ How to reserve classrooms?
Good luck to us!
14 jan 2022 Welcome back everyone, and happy new year! AICS Main has moved to the new building, and the meeting with Mr. De Groote is right around the corner! Test week is also right around the corner, so the GSA may decrease in activity this month.
One of our members has moved to another school, meaning we are now a total of three members. It is crucial for the club’s survival that advertisement occurs ASAP.
We should also meet-up with the diversity group, to discuss goals, and celebration dates for this year.
10 dec 2021 Purple Friday went splendidly!
here is a link to a google drive folder with the best pictures we took today.
We prepared from 8:30 to 10, where we used stuff from the "paarsevrijdag.nl" box to decorate the table in which we would be painting nails. We also got purple paper from the art room to put over the table.
We quickly created another poster explaining you'd get a free chocolate if you paint your nails
We realized the paarsevrijdag.nl box also had some sort of face painting stick, to paint an lgbtq+ flag on your face. There were also tatoos saying "wearing = caring". These allowed people who were uninterested in painting their nails to still show support!
At 9:45, we already started painting nails. We thought we were already close to our limit, and then 10:00 AM came. The support we received was rather unbelievable. As you can see in pictures, there were a *lot* of people. It was really great.
However, eventually, the break ended, and we had to go to math class. We hid things of value and left a sign saying we'd be back soon.
When the lunch period came, we were greeted with a surprise. While we were gone, Athena, who did not have Chemistry class, had gotten a bunch of other people to help, and we were now capable of painting nails much more efficiently. It didn't even look like they needed our help!
This system of random students helping to went on throughout the whole day.
We also decorated multiple teachers who wished to show their support. It seemed like today, the whole school came together to join our cause f spreading awareness. I don't think it could have gone much better.
I feel confident we'll be able to get the members we need for larger projects as soon as we start advertising the GSA.
Great work today, see you guys next year!
08 dec 2021 We got a reply from Mr. Kieran de Groote, the head of our school.
In his email, he apologized for his late reply, stated he supported our idea and considered the club is necessary. He also requested we meet in January to discuss the details.
We will therefore be officially starting (placing posters around the school inviting people into the GSA) in January.
29 nov 2021 we had our first meeting with Ms. Van Gastel, the coordinator of the diversity group. We are now a branch of the diversity group, which gives us a lot of stability!
This morning, we were just a little idea made by a few kids. Now, we're backed up by Ms. Bronswijk and the diversity group.
We'll be meeting up with the diversity group monthly.
The next step for the club is to make sure there is no problem with posters and the club's existence with the school's head. After that, we can start advertising and accepting more members.
27 nov 2021 I received a reply to the email!
Ms. Van Gastel, the teacher responsible of the diversity group, finds the idea of a GSA in AICS "brilliant" and would like to discuss further on Monday in a virtual meeting.
I talked to other members of the GSA, and we are all open to the idea of becoming a branch of the diversity group.
26 nov 2021 Ms. Bronswijk agreed to be our supervisor!
She also recommended to contact the diversity group, a group in our school led by both students and teachers which aims to end oppression to all groups in school.
She recommended to contact them to discuss perhaps becoming a branch of the diversity group, and if not, then deciding who will take care of things like purple Friday and other activities.
I did attempt to contact the diversity group a few months back through a student, but I came to the conclusion that they were inactive this year.
I used to be a very engaged student in drama class, back when I took the class 2 years ago. This classes' teacher also happens to be the teacher responsible for the diversity group! I will email her asking about the possibility of GSA becoming a branch of the diversity group.
23 nov 2021 No reply was ever received for the email. We therefore decided to contact Ms. Popplewell, a mentor, who told us to speak to a member of the student council, Anya.
She recommended getting a teacher supervisor, and then speaking to the head of the school. We will ask Ms. Bronswijk, an Art teacher in our school, this Friday.
15 nov 2021 As planned, today, the poster and the email have both been completed! See the poster above.
We will wait for a response to the email before placing posters around the school.
09 nov 2021 Today, we start working on posters to advertise our GSA!
Lorana and Nancy will be taking care of the poster's design, while I'll be writing the words on the poster. My part should be done by this Friday, and the whole posters will be completed on Monday