When working with other GSA members, leaders often forget that members are in fact people, and what you see on the outside isn’t always what is on the inside. Sometimes, what is going on at your campus can often make things stressful. Sometimes, you’ll even forget to have fun every now and then. A successful GSA can create lasting friendships, and that will never happen if you don’t take the time to get to know each other. Below are five ideas that will help you relax and help you get to know your fellow members.
The Question and Answer Game. You can do this game one of two ways. You can either prepare the questions before hand, or you can wait until everyone has came to a regular meeting and have members fill out slips of papers with their questions on them. Have your members place them into a hat or a fishbowl. A fishbowl would be a better choice if you have a lot of members. Pass the bowl around and have each member draw a piece of paper, read the question out loud and then answer it. Make the questions tasteful and make sure they aren’t something that could possibly be embarrassing. We’re talking about good clean fun here.
Gay movie night. Since GSA members are all diverse, their movie choices will vary as well. Pick one night a month and make that an official movie night. Have drinks and snacks set up so members can munch as they please. Choose each member to host a movie each month. Have them present the movie and tell the group a little bit about it. Then, play the movie. Encourage members to socialize after the movie by letting them know that plenty of food and drinks remain (make sure they do at least!).
Take advantage of warm weather and hold potluck events. Hold a BBQ or picnic potluck. Hold your event at your school if plenty of space allows, or venture off campus at a local park. Encourage members to come and have them bring a food and drink of their choice. Encourage them to bring supportive family members along, or friends that are curious about the club. Play games such as water balloon toss, an egg toss and other games that can be played in warm weather. You could even offer prizes for the best person in each event. Make sure everyone gets a prize.
Share coming out stories. This is great for National Coming Out Day (October 11). Get together sometime that day, after any events you have planned, and share coming out stories. Remind each member that no one has to participate if they do not wish since coming out stories can be very personal. If they do not want to share coming out stories, talk about what this day means to you, and share your feelings about coming out, especially if there is some members that haven’t come out yet. This will help them rationalize their fears.
Hold parties for any important events in your members’ lives. There are birthdays, graduations and other special events. You could hold coming out parties, along with birthdays and other special events. Parties can be held to celebrate the ending of a semester and class finals or whatever you wish. Heck, you can hold pride parties as well. Decorate everything in rainbows, have balloons and food. A white cake with rainbow icing would be a nice touch.
I’ve given you five great ideas to help you get to know your GSA members better. These however aren’t the only things that can be done with your GSA. Listen to your members. They will have ideas on how things should be done, and what they would like to do. Make it a mission to do one or two member geared activities a month and you’ll be amazed at how will things get done after members realize you want to listen to them!