Student group forms to instill diversity within school

Matt Troher

Isabelle LaBianco, News Editor

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On Nov. 1, hundreds of students gathered onto Carstens Field to form the word “one,” as a symbol of unity among the school.

What was originally sophomore Ish Mistry’s idea to link arms after the the band’s performance of the fight song at a home football game became a school-wide photo opportunity after discussion between Principal Janice Schwarze and Fine Arts department chair Brayer Teague.

In order to publicize the event, Schwarze created a student group to help her in preparation for the picture. She sought students who had approached her with ideas to promote diversity within the school.

“I tried to identify groups that feel marginalized in some way, and I wanted to include people who have been in the mainstream because they need to be part of that conversation, too. I brought in students who were leaders because I wanted a group to come up with ideas and how we were going to promote the club,” Schwarze said.

Senior Elena Cervantes is one of the 17 members in the We Are One student group. Cervantes originally approached Schwarze with a request to help bring unity to the school. Schwarze had later invited her to become part of the student group.

“I think that this club can start the conversation to changing some of the atmospheres in the school — there was a huge divide, especially during the 2016 elections and many students felt unwelcome. I still believe that many students feel unwelcome for a variety of reasons. With this club being made up of people from different grade levels, apart of different sports and/or clubs, we can bring insight into events and activities to do as a school to help bring more students together,” Cervantes said.

Cervantes believes that DGN would be able to benefit from exposing the students to diversity in hopes to create a more accepting environment.

“On a small scale, there would be more acceptance between students, especially those with conflicting opinions and from different clubs. On a large scale, I hope the school can be more accepting of everyone, no matter their background, age, race, and religious preference. In the big picture, DGN already accepts students in good standing, from an administrative level. Most what our committee wants is acceptance on a student level as well, since we have seen that that is not quite there yet,” Cervantes said.

While Schwarze sits in on the meetings, the students involved in the club work with each other in order to produce student perspective.