Diversity Council welcomes everyone

With the many diverse affinity clubs in our school, naturally there came a need to unite them. If you’re looking for a place to step out of your comfort zone and meet different people, the Student Diversity Council has just opened its doors to all students.

Dr. Guillaume and Dr. Young started the SDC, short for Student Diversity Council, in 2017, when they saw the need to bring a variety of voices together in order to have many perspectives from the student body. This includes students from SAGA, MSA, and BSU, to name a few.

SDC members have the opportunity to bring up issues they observe in our school and speak to different leaders in order to make a change.

Avery Hessel (12) has been a part of the council since the end of their freshman year. Hessel represents the LGBT+ and Jewish communities. Hessel said the diversity council has helped them become a stronger leader, and has exposed Hessel to the different populations within the school.

The SDC helps the school administrators make decisions while keeping in mind the effect it would have on different populations within our school.

“Last year, when it was Dr. G running it, he would have a specific council of people to work with that would help him talk about different ways that we could approach an issue,” Hessel stated.

Starting this year, Ms. Young joined Ms. Christian in advising the Diversity Council. They have taken on a new position as equity coordinators.

“Our job is to lead the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work with students, community, and staff,” Christian said.

They are the ones planning the lessons and leading meetings with the students.

In the beginning, teachers in affinity clubs were asked to nominate students to join SDC and represent the club. This year, however, the SDC has opened its door to anyone who is interested. This change, paired with the growing population of our school, has increased the amount of members in SDC. Now there are around 10-15 people attending the meetings, with a prediction of continued growth.

The members of SDC meet every other Friday morning. During one of the meetings, on November 8th, there were donuts sitting on the table and the meeting opened up with members sharing a forecast of their mood- a metaphor for how they were feeling.

That Friday, the council addressed color blindness, which is not seeing race or color and pretending it doesn’t exist.

After a brief TedTalk video, they asked the students how they felt and what they thought about this topic. To conclude, the group decided that it’s better to be color brave than color blind; furthermore, race is a part of people’s identity and with it comes different experiences and hardships that shape a person.

They then branched off into different topics concerning our school, including the formation of cliques. The teachers encouraged the members to sit next to someone they aren’t close to, further promoting diversity.

Xander Cue (12), who joined the SDC this year, said, “It’s given me a space to talk about issues that I’ve noticed, as well as hear perspectives from other people.”

Cue also stated that the council addresses topics that might make some people uncomfortable; however, it is necessary to bring these issues up in order to resolve them.

Dr. Young said, “This was a space where a lot of kids, who might not normally hang out or sit at the same lunch table, got the opportunity to be together, provide leadership and start to plan events where kids in our school can feel included.”