How do I start a GSA?

Forming a GSA club at a public school is protected under the Federal Equal Access Act. If you attend a private or religiously affiliate school, you will need permission from the school’s administration to form a GSA.

If your school administrators question the need for a GSA, refer them to the research showing the positive impact of GSAs on school climate.

Follow Guidelines: Establish your GSA the same way you would any other group or club. Look in your Student Handbook for the rules at your school. This may include getting permission from an administrator, finding a faculty advisor, and/or writing a mission statement for your GSA.

Find a Faculty Advisor: Find a teacher or staff member who you think will be supportive, or who has already shown themselves to be an ally around LGBTQ issues. It could be a teacher, counselor, nurse, or librarian. Your advisor can help you work with administration to establish the GSA.

Document: Keep track, in writing, all of the steps you take to create your school’s GSA. Write down dates, times, names of teachers who you meet with, and what you discussed. If you feel that your school’s administrators are resistant, or making you jump through extra hoops that other student groups don’t have to go through—contact us.

Register you group with the Iowa Pride Network using the form on this page. We’ll keep you up to date on statewide GSA events, trainings, and celebrations.

Pick a Meeting Place: You may want to find a meeting place that offers some level of privacy or confidentiality. This might be your faculty advisor’s classroom, a private room at the library, or another safe place around your school’s campus.

Invite Students to Join the GSA: Advertise your GSA with school bulletin announcements, flyers, and via word-of-mouth.

Use the GSA Curriculum to help plan your meetings.

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