Assembly encourages school spirit, unity, acceptance
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As a top-ranked high school in Michigan, South has a long-standing tradition of being a respectable and safe place for students to earn an outstanding education. However, earlier this year, a survey about respect and unity at South was distributed to students and the results were less than satisfying.
Over the past several weeks, a group of students from Student Council, Student Association and Link Crew have met to discuss possible solutions to help the building’s atmosphere. With input from the survey, along with feedback from students, the administration decided to take proactive steps. One step is to hold an all-school assembly to provide an opportunity for dialogue and discussion regarding the cohesiveness of the student body, and this is showing that the school is heading in the right direction.
South students spend almost three quarters of their day inside the walls of this building. Hence, an environment of acceptance and inclusion is critical for the well-being and general happiness of the student body.
Administrators were right to call a schoolwide assembly in an attempt to make all students feel more comfortable. By bringing in a guest speaker to discuss unity, acceptance, camaraderie and respect, this is one step toward reinforcing the positive choices students can make each day and sends a clear message that disrespect towards others is not a behavior that will be tolerated at South.
Having a student-led discussions following the assembly in seventh hour is another step in the right direction. Students should view this discussion seriously and actively participate. After all, it is the result of a student survey that initiated the actions taken by the administration in the first place.
One point that needs to be made, however, is that this is a first-year survey, which means there are no previous years with which to compare results. If a percentage of the student body feels disrespected and unwanted at the school this year, chances are high that there are students who have felt this way in the past. With the absence of Challenge Day the past two years, there have not been any programs or activities to bring the student body together.
Yes, Spirit Week is a huge part of uniting the school, but even then, multitudes of students skip out on the Pep Assembly each year. Once again, the administration should be applauded for making efforts to ensure student comfort at South when the issue was brought to their attention, but one must hope this is not a one-time thing.
If the administration is to truly gain an understanding of how students feel at South, surveys should be distributed after the assembly and in years to come to be able to correctly analyze accurate results and any improvement that may be attributed to their efforts. Also, the administration should look into turning this assembly into a yearly school activity.
Challenge Day brought students from different grades and backgrounds together for one day. Since all students were not able to partake in this event, the attendance mandated schoolwide assembly is the best possible solution to educate students on respect and unity. In addition, the assembly is also more cost-productive since it is less expensive than Challenge Day and includes the entire school.
South is a school students should want to attend and succeed at in every class, every day, every year. The assembly and student-led discussions can only help in improving South and maintaining its stellar reputation of long-standing excellence.