KCC, GSA combine to host panel

Karina Belotserkovskiy, Staff Writer

Senior Sungyi Cho (center) discusses plans for the KCC/GSA panel with members of the KCC and the GSA. The panel is expected to focus on the topic of identity, featuring speakers from both the KCC and the GSA. Photo by Grace Chatas

Inspiration for the joint panel came to senior Sungyi Cho when she attended the annual panel run by the Korean Connections Club, also known as the KCC, last year.

“Last year after seeing the KCC open forum, a lot of the [Gender-Sexuality Alliance] members, including myself, brought up that we should also do some kind of panel discussion,” Cho said.

This year, the KCC and the Gender-Sexuality Alliance, also known as the GSA, plan to host a joint forum for the first time. The forum is set to be focused on the topic of identity and how different parts of one’s life can affect identity. Speakers will be discussing race, sexuality, gender and other aspects of identity. The forum is set to be held in the library on April 25 from 3:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

According to KCC sponsor Sarah Ilie, the open forum will feature a greater variety of speakers than in previous years due to the broad scope of the topic.

“Identities are formed by a lot of different things,” said Ilie. “Your cultural and racial basis, the languages you speak, sexual orientation and gender ­— all of those are things that can make up your identity.”

Junior Hana Choi said in previous years the KCC solely ran the event, and the topics discussed focused mainly on racial and cultural identity.

Choi, a KCC board member planning the event, said the overall structure of the forum will be the same, with speakers talking about their experiences, answering questions and smaller group discussions led by panelists at the end.

The forum is expected to feature mostly student speakers, but some faculty members will speak as well. The panel members plan to talk about their experiences as members of a marginalized identity.

Ilie said she believes that having more student than faculty speakers will make the forum resonate more with the audience

“Having more students on the panel helps students realize that someone who is my peer, my age, someone who I probably had class with at some point or was on a sports team with, that I had no idea they felt this way,” Ilie said.

Cho said she hopes the forum will bring awareness to marginalized groups, such as LGBTQ identified individuals within the GBN community, and will instill a sense of unity within the school.

“Identity is really important for any individual and especially for a person with an LGBTQ identity or marginalized identity,” said Cho. “Awareness will be especially important for them. I hope the forum will help people gain visibility and others gain a better understanding of identity.”