Student Org Spotlight: Queer Student Alliance

Doxey Kamara, Intersections Editor

Image courtesy of Tulane QSA.

The executive board of Tulane’s Queer Student Alliance agreed to an interview with The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Ashley Muli, the QSA’s event coordinator, described the organization as a group which strives to “create space for queer people to feel loved and appreciated.” The organization’s president, Hannah Petillo, said the group’s current goal is to “provide a space for Tulane students to express their identities and connect with wider queer networks in the city.”

One of the QSA’s more popular events is the QT Family Dinner, which is run in partnership with Tulane’s Office for Gender & Sexual Diversity. In their interview with The Hullabaloo, the QSA executive board also mentioned plans of celebrating the organization’s 50th anniversary by reviving their Pride Prom celebration. The Tulane QSA — founded in 1972 — hopes to make the event open to the student bodies of Loyola, Tulane, Xavier and University of New Orleans.

When asked about the QSA’s working relationship with Tulane University, President Petillo said: “We’ve actually had a lot of help from some faculty in the university, especially the OGSD and the [Office of Multicultural Affairs]. The staff members working at those offices have been invaluable in supporting our organization and ensuring we are successful with our events, and supporting our E-board and student body.” The president added that, generally, university administration outside of these offices tended not to engage with the university — “which is not always a good thing.”

The E-board gave a special shoutout to the Newcomb Art Museum and Newcomb Institute, noting their support when the QSA hosted events such as their open mic night and a gender liberation talk given by the artist ALOK

The QSA is also politically involved. The organization “is politically involved in the way that one has to be when they’re living as a queer person in a homophobic society,” said President Petillo. The QSA has notably organized transportation for students interested in attending Pride Day at the Capitol in 2022, in partnership with Tulane Transportation and the Real Name Campaign. However, President Petillo noted that the QSA’s overall priority is promoting queer joy. While that can involve political activism, the president mentioned that organizations such as Tulane’s Gender Exploration Society and Black Queer Collective tend to be more politically involved.

Sophia Brieler, who manages the QSA’s communications and treasury, suggested that interested students follow the QSA’s Instagram to keep track of scheduled events. Interested students are encouraged to join the organization’s WaveSync and attend one of the QSA’s general body meetings.

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