Students voiced concern over lack of diversity in Homecoming Court and proposed ideas for resolution at the Associated Student Body’s Congressional meeting open forum on Tuesday, September 13th.
“I’m really excited that Congressional meetings have become this space where we are able to give student voice,” said William Blair, Mountain View High School Assistant Principal. “Ultimately, student government is by the students, for the students, so we want to represent you. This is a very beautiful step.”
Attendees raised questions about the process behind student nominations and teacher nominations.
According to ASB Advisor Jared Darby, after ballots are completed by seniors in the Economics classes, volunteer underclassmen compile the names into a Google Sheet. Darby tallies the votes for nominated students and the 16 students with the most votes are officially nominated.
From more than a decade ago, teacher nominations were made to count as the equivalent of four student nominations in an effort to increase diversity.
“The theory behind it being that teachers sometimes can see the contributions of a more diverse student body and be able to honor some of those students from other peer groups,” Blair said.
Below is a compilation of the concerns and solutions as voiced by students and Blair.
Concerns raised by students
- The demographics of Homecoming Court were not representative of the school’s demographics. There is a significant Latino population that was not reflected on Homecoming Court.
- The process of Homecoming Court is too private and needs to be made more public.
- Lack of Latino student involvement in activities and leadership positions.
- Feeder schools need to have equal representation in ASB. In response to this student’s concern, it was voiced that five freshman from each feeder school were recruited into ASB Activities. However, due to a schedule conflict, there are only four students from Crittenden and five from Blach and Graham.
- In the nomination process, seniors both tend to nominate the people nearby them at the moment and nominations generally do not go beyond one’s circle of peers.
- Diverse student leaders are being overlooked such as those in Key Club and Latino Student Union.
- “It has been a goal from ASB and from administration to create more of a link with different leadership programs to try to recruit more students from [feeder]middle schools,” Blair said.
- Seniors should be featured, have written introductions, or some sort of advertising to help connect lesser-known students.
- Add self nomination as a factor in the Homecoming Court process so that those who want to be on court can readily opt in.
- Fully abolish Homecoming Court. A student voiced their reasoning explaining that limiting the amount of students recognized and celebrated to just those on Homecoming Court is a disservice to the rest of the student body who also should be recognized and celebrated.
- The concept of leadership at MVHS should be redefined. “What do we think is leadership? Having a position you got just because you’re popular? Is that leadership? For me, I believe that if you aren’t white or rich, you can’t be a leader or it’s really hard to be a leader. Collectively redefining what is means to lead is something we should all think about,” Senior Jacob Avelino said.
- In reference to activities such as Camp Metamorph and Ambassadors, greater diversity can be encouraged in student activities on campus through teacher and peer nominations.
- Change the nomination ballot by listing out the full range of activities at MVHS so that the ballot reminds students to nominate a wide variety of peers.