Over the past decade, the school has seen buildings added, policies changed and teaching staff modified. The population, which often escapes people’s notice, has been changing as well, causing an increase in the diversity at school.
Both the Asian and the Hispanic populations have grown nearly four percent since 1998. Meanwhile, the Caucasian population, which was, and still is, the majority, dropped over seven percent. Although this may not seem like a drastic change, the fact that the Bay Area has always been a diverse area makes this change significant. Large increases in diversity in this area are rare, and so any increases in diversity are remarkable.
Many factors at school help us to acknowledge this diversity, and a factor that helps greatly is the existence of diversity clubs, mainly Latino Student Union, Black Student Union (BSU) and the newly-formed Asian Student Union (ASU).
“I think [diversity clubs] are great,” BSU President senior Brianna Ellington said. “I think it gives kids a chance to be proud of who they are, racially, and be more connected with their culture.”
Diversity clubs serve as a representation of the ethnic group they stand for and convey aspects of their culture to the student body through activities like fundraisers. One of the most well-known of these activities is perhaps the Diversity Assembly, which is an assembly in the spring semester that has been an annual event at school for many years now. Students like junior Max Chi, who performed a traditional song on a Chinese instrument called the erhu, get to show their culture through performances.
“I think [the Diversity Assembly] lets kids share their culture,” Max said. “It was fun to perform in it … I got to play music from my culture.”
However, it was only five years ago that Assistant Principal Cristy Dawson took over and altered the Diversity Assembly from a regular rally into one of the most popular events on campus, where students could perform their passions.
“I think it’s fabulous,” Dawson said. “I think it allowed students a chance to show who they are … to perform their talents and show their passions.”
The Diversity Assembly has undergone some major improvements, allowing the growing diversity at school to be expressed through the sharing of cultures. As the diversity grows, new clubs like ASU will arise to adjust to the more diverse environment.
“We felt there wasn’t representation for Asians,” ASU Vice President John Lee said, “We did have ASU a couple of years ago … We wanted to bring it back to new flesh and blood.”