Value Three

Shifting Divisiveness into Diversity

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise."
--Oscar Wilde
Poet
Divisiveness is an established nuance of life at Branham. There are various divisions among groups on campus — including non-student organizations. However, something that I have always appreciated about Branham High School is our undeniable diversity. How wonderful would it be if we could switch our divisiveness into a celebration and commendation diversity? From various cultural, socioeconomic, extracurricular, and ideological standpoints, Branham’s diverse divisiveness is a challenge that poses an important issue for us to tackle right now. As mentioned, this is a campaign about making ideas happen and avoiding superficiality, and the same is true when speaking of diversity. Not only am I firm believer in the power of unity in diversity, but I believe that this is something vital and difficult that we have an opportunity to address so that we can influence our campus with intention for the future.
 
Addressing the Tradition Complex

As a student who started at Branham amidst the “What’s Your Why?” initiative, I believe that we must hold accountability and power to our words – especially for staff and teachers. Confirmation bias is an evident thing among students, but arguably so among teachers as well. If we get on the same page with staff and parents about what the spirit of Branham means to students, we can have a functioning funnel of respect and understanding.

What does “bridging a gap” look like?

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

A common historical pattern is when certain countries were unable to be in the room where decisions were being made that involved them. My goal as an ASB  President would be to ensure that student interests are represented to various adult parties around school. Whether that be having a representative at school board meetings, PTSA meetings, or administrative staff meetings, one thing’s for sure: students need to be in the room where it all happens.
 

 As an ASB President, I would prioritize relationships with adults around campus to ensure that I am discussing needed information with them. This means I would schedule meetings with administration (such as the principal, athletics director, etc), understand the situations involving students, and do my part to be a figurehead for student interest. By being your ASB president, I would take on an important role of being your communicator.

We need more ardent support from our staff. Our staff and teachers are those we look up to and those who get to see us pass through the halls every day. We can achieve and communicate our need for this support by attending their meetings as previously mentioned. Within our discussions with them, we can bring them along on our high school experience by convincing them to dress up for spirit days and support more student activity on campus. Our teachers are already our support system and role models, so how awesome would it be if we could have them go the extra mile to show their dedication to school spirit and morale? If all our janitors, admins, and teachers dressed up for spirit days we could take one more step towards a campus that truly shows its passion towards common identity.

Sustaining Equitable Opportuinity

What is equitability? It means to be fair towards the concerns of every party on our campus and providing support to those who need it. At the end of the day, equitability is about ensuring we are all on the same platform to perform on level playing field.

 

How do we create equitability at Branham?

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

Students should be able to have the same high school experience no matter what their situation is socioeconomically. Something I would fight for as an ASB president is that students who qualify for free/reduced lunch would get opportunities for bruin gear and dance tickets at a lower cost. Your school spirit and buy-in to campus shouldn’t discriminate based on your situation. With me as ASB spirit president, the school would do everything in its power to serve you. Opportunities can also be in the form of creating stakeholders on campus; For instance, we could have band students perform at our rallies and events, art students make chalk art for our school, science/robotics clubs host more STEM events, and much more. More about this under “advocacy for all groups” a little further down. However, I can’t speak on behalf of all students or come up with every solution needed to address students of Branham. That’s why I would always be there for the students to listen and be an advocate for their needs to provide them with opportunity.

We often listen the most to those who speak the loudest. However, a key aspect of my presidency that I’d like to address is reaching out to students that are not commonly represented in our student body. This is also one component of the new service class, but I also feel like it needs to be addressed within building a spirit for our school. I believe that English learners, special education students, are large sectors of our campus that we are currently not choosing to listen to. In fact, those two populations combined make up 19% of Branham — about 300 students. Our events are meant to serve the students, and servitude is only possible by intentionally listening to those that need a platform to be listened to. One of my goals would be to intentionally communicate with these students to ensure they know that there are students on campus that are willing to listen no matter what.

 This one is one of the most important for our new spirit class. As a spirit organization for Branham High School, we are responsible for creating a beneficial club system. As ASB president, my goal is to work with our vice-president to create something that takes into account all clubs’ needs, not just the higher ranking ones. ASB spirit would be there to support non-ASB groups. I also dedicate myself to hearing and addressing concerns of the performing arts students and all sports. Equity for sports boosters is something I have passion for, and tying in with my dedication to maintaining administrative relationships, I promise to fight for the things that matter to the students.

Addressing Social/Extracurricular Splits

As a student at Branham, I understand what it’s like to be a part of campus climate with stereotypes. This is a withstanding part of our campus and one that shouldn’t be shied away from. After all, this is a campaign about how I can best serve you.

We’ve all heard the stigmas between groups. Most ardently, I want to address the stigma of the “ASB student”. My goal is for the ASB student to transition into someone on campus that is adaptable and understanding and does not put students’ concerns away. This is a two way street: hopefully in keeping our minds free of confirmation bias, we can all work to stimulate a campus where students support students.

We have so many diverse cultural, ideological, and social backgrounds. In tying in with social groups, our spirit class will support diversity through leveling up events like Club Rush, and supporting our service counterpart in events like Multicultural Week. Rather than tearing each other down for our differences, let’s truly celebrate diversity. Furthermore, it is vital that we work to understand the social needs of various groups and incorporate them into our events. This means truly listening to things you’d like to have at a dance or school wide initiatives that we can support you in starting. We would want to help you publicize the things that matter to you. Hopefully, our campus would be able to have upkept bulletin boards next year that allow you to get information out in a concise way.  We understand that support isn’t just a funnel of you recognizing us, there must be mutual recognition for an inclusive campus where we truly build belonging.