Value Two

Building Belonging

“No matter what you have been told, and no matter what you fear, may you always know: your presence matters here.”
--Morgan Harper Nichols
Poet
As aforementioned, I truly believe that the spirit that we should work to build at Branham is one of belonging. What matters to me is the soul of our campus, and how students feel to be a part of it. Our common identity is a bruin, despite diversity (something that I will discuss more in the third value). Spirit is a relative and subjective thing, so let’s unpack it – together. 
 
What can we do to build belonging?

Click on each step to learn more about how I’ll tackle it!

Storytelling has been an important and eye-opening skill I’ve learned this past year. As I walk around campus sometimes, I find myself noticing all the students at different parts of campus eating lunch. No matter where a student eats lunch or where they go after school, the fact remains that they are still a part of the Branham community. Sometimes, however, students feel very disconnected from Branham because there was nobody there to listen to their story. I believe that every one of us as students has a complex story that we keep hidden under the high school environment. We could start social media initiatives in partnership with other groups on campus to tell the stories of the #BruinsofBranham. This also applies to competition based events, such as Homecoming and Rivalry Week. Even among times of competition, we should prioritize the value of rising together and emphasize the role of spirit. My goal as ASB President would be to remain curious and sincerely inquisitive so that I can understand why students come to school and be an outlet. Because although many don’t feel as they are, all of us deserve to belong because we go to Branham.

THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT! To me, our mascot, Blue, stands as a symbol to hype up the students of our campus. However, I feel that Blue often hides in his den a little too much. It’s due time that our class works on dusting off our recognition and utilize it a lot more often. The power of recognition does so much for Branham; With so many people that give back so much to our campus and community, recognition is constantly needed but sometimes not delivered. Truly tuning into the activity on the Branham campus and listening to members of different clubs and groups will allow the leadership class to funnel appreciation to many deserving students. There are so many beautiful people on our campus, and we don’t need to look far to see the heights that our students are reaching on campus.
From random classroom visits with Blue to writing and delivering meaningful cards, recognition is definitely a key step to building up spirit on the Branham campus.

Traditional school spirit is a facet of Branham that has the ability to be expanded upon and improved; Moreover, school spirit is what we define it as. With a solid foundation of equity and unity among students, we could create supportive student sections and dress up days that work to gratify those who are stakeholders in the process. Dress up days should be something that allows most students to feel together in, rather than a certain population alienated in. Student sections are often referred to when speaking of football games, but who’s to say we can’t have a supportive unit of students come to our theater productions and tennis matches? However, rather than these components being the only “spirit” on campus, they would serve as a part of a grander Bruin support system that is cultivated on our campus.