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Black Students Union encourages RAHS students to get involved

BSU executives planning further events for the school year.
Photo by Tristina Huynh

Black Student Union (BSU) is starting the new year off by playing a bigger role in school and the wider community by planning events and activities as well as taking part in the MLK assembly.

Senior and President of BSU Kyla Marks wants to stabilize the club this year.

“We want to create a stable foundation for the club,” said Marks. “Set activities and [a] schedule that can be used every year.”

Marks believes that being a part of community outreaches will help BSU prosper this year.

“We are helping out the Boys and Girls Club such as volunteering there and tutoring little kids there,” said Marks. “We are trying to do community service events that happens once or twice a month.”

Through BSU, Marks is attempting to emphasize the importance of Black History Month.

“In February we are trying to do more for Black History Month such as put[ting] more facts around the school,” said Marks. “Last year it was not brought up; this year we want to put up more posters.”

By the end of the year Marks want to influence younger African Americans to influence those in their community.

“We want younger African Americans to see that they still have a voice in the community,” said Marks. “We want to show them that we are stronger if we come together and become one and achieve a lot.”

Junior BSU secretary Char Cox wants to teach Black History to those in BSU to create a safe space for students.

“Basically we just want to create a sense of community for the black students, but we also want to teach [the] history about black culture,” said Cox. “If there are other students that are in BSU, even black students who do not know about black history.”

Vice president of BSU Lilia Medhane wants to be inclusive of freshmen this year.

I’ve kept in contact with a lot of the freshmen actually,” said Medhane. “Having a sibling in the freshman class really helps [to understand] the vibe and what they would like to do with the club.”

Medhane wants BSU to be well known and to be more involved as well as being well structured.

“I want the club to be apart of something bigger of course,” said Medhane. “I really like how NHS is structured, and hopefully we can approach that level this year.”

Cox wants BSU to be a place where anyone is welcome.

“We are trying to create a community for mainly black students to feel welcome, but we’re not discriminating against any students,” said Cox. “Anyone is welcome to join.”

Getting more members this year and doing more activities in the community, Cox beliefs will help BSU have a good start this year.

“We are trying to get BSU up and running this year. Getting more people to join, but we do want to start doing community outreaches and game nights at community centers, said Cox. “We are trying to reach out to the black community.”

Cox and the rest of BSU is helping ASB with the Black History Month.

“We are still planning what we are going to do for this school,” said Cox. “We have an idea of doing what ASB is doing last year for black history month but doing it at the start of the month rather than the end of the month.”

By the end of this year Cox wants BSU to be a club where people would feel safe.

“I want BSU to be a well known club, a club that people want to join and be apart of,” said Cox. “Somewhere that helps people feel a sense of community because there is not a lot of people of color at this school. I want BSU to be a place where people can share their feelings and feel comfortable.”

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K-Pop enables students to express themselves

Andreah Elvira, Kayla Tran and Rhoana Marie stans over BTS’s new song ‘DNA’.
Photo By: Tristina Huynh

K-Pop has influenced RAHS students as a way for them to come together and interact with one another through a mutual interest.

Senior Francesca Gaerlan believes that K-Pop brought her to meet new people and  experiences fun activities such as concerts and festivals.

“Through K-Pop, I was able to connect more with students who also liked K-Pop,” said Gaerlan. “Not only have I met people who liked K-Pop inside of the school community, but also outside, by going to K-Pop events, I’ve met people who I am really close with because of K-Pop.”

Artists such as BTS, Crush, and Kang Gary influence Gaerlan on a deeper level as they focus on issues such as societal that she connects with.

“My favorite K-Pop group is BTS, I also like IU; they both produce songs that will make you think of what they mean on a deeper level,” said Gaerlan. “There are also solo artists that I listen to like Crush and Kang Gary. These artists focuses on all the societal issues, and I guess I just liked that about them.”

Senior Abigail Quinsay feels a strong connection through K-Pop due to how she relates to the band Day 6 on a language level.

“Jae or Brian, [members of the band, Day 6] he’s bilingual and grew up in LA, so his Korean isn’t amazing and sometimes you can hear his American accent,” said Quinsay. “He also talks about how he struggles with writing Korean lyrics. I’m the same way with Tagalog. I look up to these guys and other artists.”

K-Pop also helped revive Quinsay’s creative side.

“Before high school, I used to be in better touch with my creative side, I would write stories, poetry, and make movies with my friends,” said Quinsay. “Ever since I started listening to K-Pop I’ve been inspired by the artists and community to get back into those creative hobbies.

BTS influences Quinsay with their lyrics that helps her study and stay on track in school.

“One time I was procrastinating by reading BTS’s ‘Pied Piper’ lyrics and one line said ‘Video clips, pictures, tweets, … It’s not just one hour, it’s a whole year that’ll disappear,’” said Quinsay. “That line was so real for me and kinda scared me, so I got started on my homework. Situations similar to this happen kinda often because sometimes K-Pop idols like to remind their fans to study.”

K-Pop has been a big part of junior Katie Taylor’s life because it helps her connect with other people with the same interest.

“For me, K-Pop is an essential part of my life, I don’t think I can imagine myself without it. One of the reasons why I love K-Pop is that it connects me with other people who also like it,” said Taylor. “Personally I’m not very good at making conversations unless I have something to say, but if I’m talking to someone and we share the same passion for K-Pop, then I will almost always have something to say.”

K-Pop has helped Taylor strengthen her friendship with her best friend.

“I introduced her to it pretty soon after I got into it myself, and I also taught her some basic Korean,” said Taylor. “We’re both really passionate about K-Pop and I feel that this shared interest has helped bring us closer.”

Memorizing K-Pop lyrics boost Taylor’s confidence.

“Learning songs in a language with a different alphabet was a pretty daunting task,” said Taylor. “Having done it has shown me that I can succeed at new things that seem really intimidating, so personally that’s been a good confidence-booster.”

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ASB’s new approach making RAHS more fun and exiciting

Art Director Davie-Anne Ross captures fellow sophomores, Miranda Anders and Malia Houghton, celebrating Denim Day for the ASB Instagram account.

During the 2016-17 school year, the RAHS the Associated Student Body (ASB) has been trying to create a welcoming environment by encouraging student collaboration and promoting positive interactions.

ASB President and senior Catie Stukel believes that ASB should incorporate more after school activities and better the school environment.

“One of our main goals is working on the general atmosphere of the school and getting students more excited to come to school,” said Stukel. “So we decided to start a variety of activities. We’re doing weekly character dares, [and] we greet people at the door.”

Stukel is excited to be a part planning the after-school activities, as she wants to bring the student body together.

“We have our Halloween Turn Up and Flapjack Friday which is really fun,” said Stukel. “Some people are going to have costumes and there’s music, which will create a fun environment for students.”

Moreover, Stukel recognizes the influence ASB has had on her life in addition to its influence on the student body.

“ASB has been a big part of my life,” said Stukel. “The leadership camp that I attended [is] really great because it makes you think about character and it helps you create the best version of yourself.

Apart of being the president of ASB, Stukel works to balance her busy life outside of school.

“I am very busy, because I work, I’m on a climbing team, [I do] ASB, and other commitments,” said Stukel. “It’s going well, it’s nice that we have leadership class to work [on ASB work].”

Sophomore Class Senator Natalie Suarez wants to try to decrease the stress students feel at school.

“As sophomore senator I would like to make school a more enjoyable place to be,” said Suarez. “This means making school less stressful by planning fun after school activities or spreading kindness.”

Suarez is excited about the dances and other activities that ASB is planning this year.

“I’m really excited to plan this year’s Winter Ball and other small activities sprinkled throughout the year,” said Suarez.

ASB’s new art coordinator, sophomore Davie-Anne Ross, believes that adding an improved social media aspect to Art Committee will connect the student body together.

“This year’s Art Committee isn’t just needed for posters and decorations for dance,” said Ross, “but we are also including a social media aspect of it.”  

Ross expresses her thoughts on how she can represent others with her voice in an effective way.

“ASB for me is a way for me to find what other people want from the school, and represent them, this is what I am really trying to get out of it,” said Ross. “I feel like I have a diverse perspective to bring to ASB, and everyone does.”

Ross loves art, and expressing that aspect of her life is exciting for her.

“Being able to find an artistic outlet at a STEM school and have it projected to a mass audience and seeing the reactions is really satisfying,” said Ross. “I have never made something that I am proud of and spread to a mass audience to see their reactions.”

Ross is excited about being art coordinator because it highlights her strengths as an individual and projects that she is looking forward to in the upcoming year.

“I hope I can continue to be art coordinator in the upcoming years, because this job contributes to my strengths,” said Ross, “and I’m also looking forwards into producing more designs for the Spirit Shack, and working with newer software.”

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