It’s been real, Kits

As your Student Representative I can honestly say that I’ve worked hard this year to advocate for your needs, concerns, and issues.

As a member of the District 202 Board of Education and the President of Student Senate, this year has been evidence of what student mobilization can do. Student Senate, the student action counterpart to Student Council, registered hundreds of students to vote, held a forum with Mayor Tisdahl, joined committees across the school, volunteered with The Closet and Breakfast to Play 60 and held a debate watching party to get you interested in the political process.

The best part of this is that we’re all in this together (yes, I’m aware that’s a high school musical reference, deal with it.) To say that Student Senate was the only one working for change would be the understatement of the year. It’s virtually impossible to shout out every student and club who has done incredible organizing work this year, but Green Team worked to ban styrofoam from the cafeterias, students upset after Ebony Ball was canceled due to funding issues held a Unity Dance on April 29, and students with Get Yourself Tested raised awareness about free STI testing, contraception and confidential appointments at our very own health center.

It’s not just students who have been working hard to make this school a more inclusive place where all can succeed. If you didn’t know it already, it’s under the visionary leadership of Dr. Witherspoon and Dr. Campbell that we hosted our first Latinx summit with the mission of creating visions and opportunities, honored nearly 400 students of color at the 14 Annual Black Caucus Honor Roll Breakfast and continue to identity racial equity as a top priority.

While we should take time to celebrate our successes this year, we should pause only to reaffirm our commitment to advocating for what we believe in. As students, you have power. You can start a viral campaign like #normalizeselflove or you can have a conversation with your health teacher about how we can do more to discuss the complexity of gender and sexuality in class. You can call yourself an activist and protest the killing of Laquan McDonald on the streets of Chicago, or you can investigate the unjust practices of Chicago police in history class.

The point is, you have the opportunity to take action. So do it.