On May 21, GIN, NAHS, NHS, TSC, FBLA, GSA, and the student council hosted Gender Awareness Day, a day targeting the continued rise of sexism in the school, during which students were invited to attend a teachers’ basketball game, capture-the-flag, knock-out basketball, and other athletic activities. Simultaneously, the clubs also ran a small food stand where students sold deobokki, pizza, and refreshments.
Under the leadership of GIN, although the event proceeded over the span of merely four hours in a single day, a considerable amount of preparation was put into organizing the activities. The cross-club collaboration had a distribution of roles by dividing club members into three divisions: Marketing, Logistics, and Events.
“Too often clubs are disparate and disconnected in their purposes and project,” said Joonyoung Lee (11), next year treasurer of GIN and president of FBLA. “By gathering a coalition of dedicated clubs and achieving success on, initially, a small scale, the future can hold more promising collaboration toward genuinely and actively supporting each others’ messages and projects. Gender Awareness Day sends the message that, yes, our school can and should start becoming more unified toward supporting each others’ messages and projects.”
By working with a number of clubs for a unified purpose of eliminating gender barriers, SIS was able to have a greater distribution of ideas and more dialogue regarding pertinent social issues. However, as the event required a collective effort from multiple clubs, with it came a greater risk of miscommunication and discrepancies. Although the spirit of Gender Awareness Day was commendable, the systematic limitations of managing multiple clubs ultimately brought inefficiency to the preparation and procession of the event.
Behind the scenes, club members were uninformed of their roles or even the existence of Gender Awareness Day until the day before the event. The shifts and times for the food and drinks stand were unclear, along with a lack of cooperation coming from all members of the clubs. More importantly, however, there was the single lingering question that remained unaddressed: how do games of teachers’ basketball, capture-the-flag, and knock-out basketball help to make students more socially aware?
“Next year, GSA is working to have more focused projects,” said Minyoung Huh (10), next year president of GSA. “Like the movie nights we hosted this year, we are planning to hold more events that target minorities and allow participants to be more socially aware through involving themselves in activities that directly address social imbalances.”
Inspired by the pluses and minuses of Gender Awareness Day, students were able to develop more ideas for future projects that focus on minorities and their rights. GSA, ThinkHer, and other activists clubs are working to increase their presence in the school for a cause that has a clear line of relevance.