ASB moves closer to a more inclusive class environment at Mission Hills

At the beginning of the year, ASB made a mission statement prioritizing inclusion. Now with only a few months until graduation, have these Grizzlies proved that they are more than fun and games and stuck to their mission statement?

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Photo by Gisella Escobar

ASB fosters inclusion as it looks to many different types of people to make sure the program runs smoothly.

Story by Sophia Perun, Features Editor

   At pep rallies and football games they bring the school spirit. They host lively lunch activities and in the Associated Student Body (ASB) room, they are endlessly finding ways to promote an inclusive atmosphere at Mission Hills High School. Despite the efforts of Grizzly leaders, students skim past ASB on their course selection sheet, restrained by insecurities regarding their race, socio-economic status, social status, or personality. Regardless of one’s background, everyone at school should feel welcomed to join ASB.

When it comes to making sure things get done, there are a lot of leaders in ASB, who are not necessarily loud. I definitely would say, me having a big personality, that I wouldn’t be able to do it without people who were quieter, but still on top of things,”

— Lance Holmes (12)

   For example, if one race dominates the face of ASB, even if the class itself is diverse, students who are not of that predominant race may exclude themselves based off of the presumption that they do not fit the look. 

   “I have honestly always wanted to join ASB, but I have hesitated because of my race. I don’t want to put down other races because I know that ASB has different races, but there are a lot of people of color at school, and I feel like the white population dominates the image of ASB,” Esmeralda Sarmiento (12) said.

   If someone sees that none of their friends are in ASB, only people of a certain crowd will dominate the demographics in a class intended to be inclusive. Gravitating towards like-minded people may be comforting, but this may lead to racial preferences in leadership, resulting in the acceptance of a misrepresented student body.

   “I’ve never felt like my race was an issue when it came to joining ASB. If anything, I thought my social status was. Everyone in ASB seemed to be rich and popular, which I certainly didn’t feel I was. After joining ASB, I began to realize it was more than just perfect, cookie-cutter students with lots of money. In actuality, ASB is full of some of the nicest and more inclusive people I’ve ever met,” D’Andre Jorge (12) said.

   When someone thinks of a leader, qualities such as charisma and assertiveness come to mind: the students who do not hesitate to initiate class discussions or help a classmate. While the remaining Grizzlies who are not in ASB assume that everyone in the class can be described as having dominant qualities, ASB also has students who are introverted: the students who would rather express what is on their mind using ink and help make elaborate posters or work behind the scenes to organize and plan events. 

   “I really appreciate quiet leaders who are good and skilled at what they do. When it comes to making sure things get done, there are a lot of leaders in ASB, who are not necessarily loud. I definitely would say, me having a big personality, that I wouldn’t be able to do it without people who were quieter, but still on top of things,” Lance Holmes (12) said. 

   Aware of their own reputation, ASB has been gradually incorporating different ways to include various teams, programs, and unite the clubs on campus. 

  “This year, ASB has brought more attention to waterpolo by allowing us to introduce our captains and say our next home game in front of the school at the pep rally. This made me feel like ASB appreciates a sport that is not as recognized as football or basketball,” Izabella Steele (10) said.

  Whether you fit the stereotypes that describeASB students should not hold you back from considering ASB as an elective. There is no single definition of a leader, so ASB could be how you help reflect the school’s diverse people. 

   “ASB is all about helping students think of ways to improve our campus. I believe that anyone can learn how to be a leader if they have the courage and determination to do so,” said Brisa Hernandez (9).

Have you ever felt that your race/ethnicity is underrepresented by large groups like ASB?

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