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GSA holds its first spring formal

Jenga game time: Participants of the GSA formal gather together to play a fun game of Jenga. The event took place on May 8 in Conestoga’s small courtyard.

By Lexi Lin, Social Media Editor

With blasting music and colored lights, students danced and laughed in Conestoga’s small courtyard on May 8 at the Gender Sexuality Alliance’s (GSA) first-ever spring formal.  

The club took inspiration from the events of other high schools when junior and GSA co-president Mariel Hadjiliadis attended a conference for equity leaders. She wanted to host a similar event at Conestoga to provide a place for students to express themselves freely. 

“I was talking to other schools, and they were saying how their GSA does a GSA prom for students that don’t feel comfortable dancing with their partners or wearing what they want to wear at regular prom,” Hadjiliadis said. 

During the event, the club hired a private DJ and provided a selection of food and a variety of games such as Jenga and Tic-tac-toe. Club members cleared benches to the side to create a makeshift dance floor in the middle of the courtyard. Guests were not required to pay an entrance fee, as the club paid for everything through fundraising and outside donations. 

“I really just wanted to give people the opportunity to be able to have a prom if they didn’t want to go to theirs and host a cheaper alternative because it can be really expensive,” Hadjiliadis said. 

Many of the participants, some from other high schools, enjoyed the event’s venue, activities and general environment.

“It’s not super overwhelming,” freshman Liz Wright said. “Being outdoors, there’s nice air. It’s breathable. It’s actually a really fun environment compared to crowded dances, and I think having the open space is really great.” 

Other students felt that holding this event was important for the progression and expansion of the club.

“A lot of the time, I feel like our community — the LGBTQ+ — we’re (looked down on) a lot, and that’s not the only community I’m in that’s (looked down on), so I think it is important to have events like these because we are seen as different,” sophomore Maddy Fitzgerald said. “We’re all the same, so it’s important to have these (events) so we can feel comfortable being ourselves.”

The GSA hopes to hold similar events in the future to promote inclusivity and provide a safe environment for students. 

“We want students to feel like there is a space for them,” GSA adviser and physical education teacher Asher Rhodes said. “Coming to something like this at their school gives them that safe space to be who they are and enjoy themselves.” 

Lexi Lin can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Lexi Lin
Lexi Lin, Social Media Editor
Lexi Lin is a sophomore and Staff Reporter for The Spoke. She has reported on community events and sports games. Outside of The Spoke, she is a board member of the Asian American Culture Club, a member of the Math Competition Team and a competitive dancer.