As a graduate student at Emory, I always received a warm welcome from GALA members at LGBTQ events on campus. At Homecoming celebrations, holiday socials, and the Pride Awards, our alumni always took time to reach out to me, to ask how things were going, and to encourage me to stay involved in the Emory LGBTQ community after graduation.
It was therefore an easy decision for me to become an active member in GALA after completing my degree. My involvement with GALA over the past year and a half has allowed me to advocate for students, to build meaningful friendships with other alumni, and to give back to the campus LGBTQ community that gave me so much throughout my five years as a student. I’ve been able to experience firsthand what a difference a friendly, supportive, and engaged organization like GALA can do for our students and alumni.
GALA has already effected meaningful change on Emory’s campus, and has the capacity to continue to effect change and be a voice for LGBTQ inclusion. Thanks to our strong partnership with the Office of LGBT Life, we have opportunities to serve as mentors, advisors, and friends to students and staff. With our new GALA Outwrite Blog and our social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, we can now easily connect with our alumni all over the world and engage them in our work.
Wherever you are, we hope that you’ll consider connecting with GALA in useful and meaningful ways in the years to come. If you are based in Atlanta and you’ve never joined us at an event or monthly meeting, consider this a personal invitation and encouragement to do so in the near future. We can guarantee that you’ll be made to feel welcome and valued, and that you will have plenty of opportunities to expand your network, make friends, learn new skills, and have a tangible impact on the LGBTQ alumni of the future.
And to our current students, take it from me when I say that you shouldn’t wait until after graduation to get involved with GALA. We love getting to know our students and involving you in our community. Joining GALA has made all the difference in my life and I know it will make a difference in yours too.
Aby Parsons, 13G