The Wildcat Tribune

Leadership works to combat student concerns over campus unity

Andrew Chuang and Amanda Su

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Over the years, despite Dougherty Valley’s attempts at creating unity, many among the student body still have yet to feel a strong sense of unity, mainly due to a lack of student interest and time for school events. But rallies and other class-bonding activities planned by Leadership aim to hopefully bring students closer together.

The question still remains though: what factors play into Dougherty’s grapples to mesh and unite, even when provided opportunities and events created for the exact purpose of doing so?

One theory exists that students simply do not have the desire to venture beyond their own friend groups. Often, it may appear much simpler and less work to just to stick with what is familiar.

Information extrapolated from an anonymous student poll shows that many students expressed little interest in attending school-sponsored “mixer” events.

One anonymous student stated, “I enjoy the people I already know and prefer things at my own speed.”

Venturing out of one’s comfort zone and being placed in a situation that forces bonding is not the most ideal environment to generate new friendships, and often it appears to be more work than it is worth.

However, according to Senior Class President Rachel Ingram, “Leadership tries not to ask anybody to do anything we wouldn’t do ourselves. I think you come to a point where people prefer to be inside of their comfort zones, but once they step out, it’s easier for unification.”

Another theory lies in the idea of school environment. Often, and not surprisingly, hardworking Dougherty students can sometimes barely muster up the energy to leave their rooms to socialize after spending so much time and energy on schoolwork and after-school activities. It’s also not news that over the years Dougherty has evolved into the high school embodiment of student academic rivalry. This overarching amount of rivalry causes the growth of competition, known to cause rampant cheating around campus and distrust among peers.

Sheerin Khan, Junior Class President, suggests, “I think a lot of it is that academics do come first. Because if people have the SAT to the next day, then they won’t come out to events. Academics is what’s primarily blocking it and generally if people’s friends don’t go, then they won’t go.”

Students also express the desire to find a reason to get excited for attending events and getting involved.

Another anonymous student stated, “Maybe I would [go to these events] if there was some sort of incentive and if it was at a convenient time, like during lunch or right after school.”

Recently, Leadership created a class competition system between each class, promoting class unity and healthy competition to excite people about spirit days, rallies etc.

Khan says, “This is the first year we’re doing these class competitions and in general there’s the rallies. We also have more stuff coming up with juniors vs seniors. It’s competition that really gets classes hyped.”

However, a large majority of students did express that they don’t know if they’d be interested in attending future class bonding events because sometimes the events don’t serve the purpose of unifying as much as promised.

One student stated, “I would go, depending on what type of bonding. Movies are not bonding; it’s sitting with a bunch of people while not talking.”

Luckily, Leadership has many plans for things coming up that address this problem.

According to Khan, several Leadership-sponsored events have already helped to bring students together.

“Leadership has a lip dub coming up and it’s the whole school, so it will be really big for bringing the whole school together,” Khan said.

Ingram mentions that Homecoming has also been successful in getting the senior class involved. She noted that “over 200 seniors were involved in the most recent Homecoming”.

Both Ingram and Khan noted that Leadership still has many more ideas and plans in the works, so students should be on the lookout for them.

Achieving student unity is no easy task, but Leadership efforts strive to make Dougherty’s “student bodies” into a unified student body.

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Leadership works to combat student concerns over campus unity