Revival of PRISM club offers safe place for students

Alaina Howarth, staff writer

PRISM is a club for the LGBT community where the main goal is to help students feel safe and welcomed.
Standing for People for the Rights of Individuals and Sexual Minorities, PRISM is back at South as a safe space for not just the LGBTQ community, but everyone.
“[The group discusses] the LGBTQ community in the outside world and we discuss different ways to handle problems that we’re having,” said Maddy Foster, junior, President of PRISM. A safe space for students gives them a support system that they never would have imagined possible.
“I feel like this club was important so that kids could have a place to go. We’ve dealt with a lot of bullying with the club” Foster said.
The club also discusses more topics that not a lot of people talk about.
“Two weeks ago we talked about voting for the midterm election,” Foster said. The ability to talk openly about subjects like these in a safe space encourages student transparency without fear of judgement.
“[The club serves as] a place where [the students] can go and feel safe and feel listened to,” Foster said.
Students can turn to this club for support not only from others within the club, but from the adults of this school as well.
As stated in a GLESN research brief, LGBTQ students that have access to a club, such as PRISM, are more likely to be familiar with the supportive adults at school.
“One of the things that you’re finding out is that the dean’s office has been really supportive so far with any issues that have arisen. They’ve talked to multiple people in the dean’s office and have gotten nothing but support,” said English teacher and sponsor of PRISM, Tara Smith.
The idea for the club began during Foster’s sophomore year when Sarah Cossich, PRISM club Vice President, realized “[South has] a club for everything, but [South doesn’t] have a club for the LGBT community”
This year is the first time the PRISM club has been reformed in three years. “[The students are] just getting everything going again; they’re just getting their feet back under them, and really figuring out how things should be run,” Smith said.
The club has a few ideas for fundraising and they are trying to get an event approved for the end of the year.