By CHRISTIAN MORRISON
It was the beginning of the assembly at Redlands East Valley, and a sea of blue, yellow, green, and purple mardi gras beads rolled into the gymnasium; carried in on the necks of students. Each student climbed into the bleachers that belonged to their assigned color group. There they sat fanning themselves with a paper that contained the school Alma Mater, trying to fend off the oppressive heat of the summer that had stolen into the building. Among the normal student body were several Links Crew members, denoted by their paint markings on their arms and face, who helped the surrounding students to shake off the effects of their humdrum day and inject excitement into them. Suddenly, the cheering died down; the thunder was hushed. All were listening attentively as the assembly began.
Jennifer Murillo, the principal of REV, took the center floor and began to discuss her hopes for the new year. She encouraged students to become involved, set a good example for their peers, and most importantly contribute to the school community. “This is not our school. This is your school,” Murillo told the students, looking around the gymnasium. After her speech, the executive cabinet members of this year’s ASB took the stage. They rallied the students, calling each color group to outdo the others for school spirit. Once they had gotten the student body’s attention, they proceeded with liveliness in their voices to introduce the new School Plus Two policy. This policy would encourage all students to join at least two extracurricular activities in conjunction with the school.
As ASB president Amy Underwood and vice president Morgan Rapoza would later explain, the idea for the School Plus Two policy first came from Murillo herself. She then, having this idea, passed it onto ASB advisor Matt Fashempour, who then, in turn, told the new ASB officers. Looking for a way to create a better, more unified school community, the ASB decided to implement the policy. “Essentially, statistics show that students involved in two extracurricular activities have a more successful and happy high school career,” Underwood stated when explaining the reasoning behind implementation.
The main purpose of the policy is to help those who are not yet actively involved in the school community find extracurricular activities they can enjoy. “It is geared toward the people who don’t have a place yet,” explained Rapoza. By encouraging more participation in the school community, ASB hopes to have a more unified school that celebrates the diversity of its individual components. This policy especially aims to encourage incoming members to the school. “It is mostly geared toward freshmen,” Rapoza stated. However, this policy can be used to help all students at all grade levels find their niche in their school community.
When asked how ASB would go about promoting this new school philosophy Underwood replied, “A lot of it is advertisement.” They plan to heavily emphasize the School Plus Two policy through events like Club Rush, which involves a club fair where students can walk around and find clubs they might be interested in joining. They will also use social media to encourage participation in school activities.
Undoubtedly, this policy will have a positive effect on the school community and the individual students as well. “It leads them to appreciate what others are doing and what they are doing,” Rapoza commented. Not only that, but the School Plus Two policy aims to help people find a place to belong within their school’s society, and connect with like-minded individuals outside of the classroom. In this way, ASB hopes that each new individual that decides to embrace the underlying concepts of this idea will bring something unique to the school community and support it in its entirety. ASB wants “students with diversity and a willingness to support multiple facets of the school,” Underwood said.
After announcing their new policy, ASB continued on with the assembly. Music was blasted from the speakers, hilarious team games were played, the Alma Mater was sung with a detectable hint of pride from all the students, and everyone did the Cha Cha Slide at the end before being dismissed for lunch. In this way, ASB infused optimism for the new year into the student body; an optimism which they hopefully will use to explore the various opportunities available in the REV community and find their place within the school community this year.