BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - In March of 2016, a group of Governor Livingston students proposed the idea of forming a Sexuality and Gender Acceptance Club at the high school. With the support of two staff members, Tracy Procaccini and Patrice Silagi, along with school administrators, the SAGA Club was created. SAGA has been an active, thriving club ever since. Today, the club is comprised of approximately 50 LGBTQ+ students and supporters. The faculty advisors for the club today are Tracy Procaccini and Ursula Engel.
The primary mission of the SAGA Club is to work to make LGBTQ+ individuals feel safe, accepted, and included at Governor Livingston High School and in the surrounding community. To achieve this goal, the students have held PRIDE picnics in partnership with the Berkeley Heights YMCA, held bake sales and candy sales at GL plays and musicals, and done tie-dye shirt fundraisers to raise awareness of their mission.
The club meets every other day 4 of the weekly cycle during lunch. Meetings are run by student leaders and students discuss current events, plan club events and share experiences and stories.
SAGA is just one of many student-formed clubs at Governor Livingston High School, where students recognized a need and developed a plan of action to meet it. The students prepared a Club Proposal, or Purpose of Club, that described how it would be a benefit to the GLHS student body and recruited a Faculty Advisor. The Club Proposal is then reviewed by the building Administration and can become an “informal club”. Formalization of a club occurs when evidence of an increased benefit to students is seen and a high level of student participation is shown through well attended events and other functions.