By Kayla Vasquez
Ms. Kam, a teacher at STA pictured above, holding a pride flag in support of the 2SLGBTQ+ community
As many of you may know, STA’s Student Council recently amended its constitution to better include and recognize STA’s 2SLGBTQ+ community and its members.
Under Article Four, which pertains to the “Election of Grade Representatives,” the constitution now reads “there shall be two representatives from each grade.” This replaces the former clause which stated the need for a “female and male representative.”
The new wording of “two representatives” also applies to vice presidents under Article Seven, where the new constitution says: “there shall be two co-vice presidents.” Before, there needed to be a “female and male vice president.”
Here’s what some of our STA students have to say about the new change.
Jas Sy, a Grade 10 student, says that it’s “about time something like this occurred. Gender has always been a social construct and I don’t see the point in having gender-segregated spots for our two representatives when it should have always been available to any two people who best represent each grade. Knowing now that change is finally being made – even if it’s just within our school, makes me, as a part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, feel less isolated.”
Lucia Razuri, another Grade 10 student, adds, “It’s really refreshing to see changes like this one happen, no matter how simple or small they seem to be. I always found gender-designated roles within school activities such as Student Council really unnecessary. As a queer individual, I always felt sort of ‘out of place’ when it came to gendered positions. Even simple wording like ‘female and male’ flat-out doesn’t acknowledge the existence and contributions of non-binary individuals. Changing the wording so that we are recognized will help us and other 2SLGBTQ+ individuals feel more seen, comfortable, and normalized in our school spaces. If basic changes like this can help any of us feel more seen and included, I think it’s needed and worth it.“
The change was made after candidate for Grade 11 Representative Frankie Pascucci identified the issue. “As a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, I am proud to have sparked the conversation about making Student Council roles more gender-inclusive. Changes as small as this mean the world to me. This means we have finally taken the steps to be more inclusive within our school community and it opens doors previously unopened.”
After hearing the news that the Halton Catholic District School Board voted against flying the pride flag in support of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, many students as well as staff were devastated. However, even if bigger changes can’t be made on a board-wide level, our STA students and staff are always looking to provide support, recognition, and reassurance to all students and communities.