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WE Club’s Awareness Walk sheds light on student inequality

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WE Club’s Awareness Walk sheds light on student inequality

Students gather in quad to participate in WE clubs questionnaire.
Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

Students gather in quad to participate in WE clubs questionnaire. Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

Students gather in quad to participate in WE clubs questionnaire. Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

Students gather in quad to participate in WE clubs questionnaire. Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

Jill Vallance

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Has one of your parents not obtained a secondary education? Have you never had to worry about sexual assault? Have you ever been bullied about something you can’t change? These were some of the questions asked by members of Foothill’s WE Club as part of their first “awareness walk.” Per the mission of the event, students were able to share their own stories, show that inequality is present on campus and spark empathy for one another within the student body.

Students listen intently to what WE club has to say. Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

Students listen intently to what WE club has to say. Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

The event started with 40 students all in one line who were asked questions about experiences they may have had. In response to these questions, the participants would either take one step forward if the experience was to their benefit or one step backward if the experience weakened their privilege.

According to Shealyn Massey ‘19, Vanessa Luna ‘19, Yoanna Soliman ‘19 and Trinity Dubrow ‘19, all officers of WE Club, this activity was originally about gender equality but soon turned into much more.

Leaders of WE Club Shealyn Massey ‘19 and Yoanna Soliman ‘19 stand on the stage and ask various questions to students that bring awareness to inequality. Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

Leaders of WE Club Shealyn Massey ‘19 and Yoanna Soliman ‘19 stand on the stage and ask various questions to students that bring awareness to inequality. Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

“We wanted to show Foothill that there was still gender inequality, but then it kind of turned into privilege for different sexualities [and] races,” Massey explained. “People are still not as far ahead as they should be in our school community.”

At the end of this activity, some students found themselves behind the starting line, while others were looking for additional space because there was no more room for them to move forward.

Soliman, who asked all of the questions, ended the exercise with students reflecting on their place in comparison to others, urging the message that “everyone has their own story.”

“This probably opened up many people to this situation where a lot of people didn’t realize this was happening in their own school,” Luna commented when reflecting on the activity. “People realized ‘oh一 bad things happen to my friends.’”

Jackson Vizzo ‘21 shares his personal view on the activity and how it effected him. Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

Jackson Vizzo ‘21 shares his personal view on the activity and how it effected him.
Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

When given the opportunity to voice their own reactions to their final placement and their own stories, three students took the offer.

Jackson Vizzo ‘21 was shocked at where he ended up in line.

“I thought I was going to be [farther up] since most of my life I have had a pretty good life, but since some of the questions you asked were about bullying一I didn’t expect this,” Vizzo said.

Madison Morris ‘22 said that she “ended up being in the very back because most of the questions […] asked were about sexuality. I had to step back many times.”

Joe Shoemaker ‘21 shares his thoughts on the activity. Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

Joe Shoemaker ‘21 shares his thoughts on the activity. Credit: Muriel Rowley / The Foothill Dragon Press

“I don’t think white people should have as much privilege as they do,” Joe Shumaker ‘21 stated.

Tristen Arana ‘21 said the activity “reflected on how much we don’t know the student body.”

“There [is] a substantial amount of people here that aren’t privileged. Even though it’s a really good school, there are still people who are underprivileged,” he said.

“This teaches us that you can’t assume anything about anyone,” Soliman concluded. “Without getting to know them, you don’t know their story.”

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Jill Vallance, Reporter

I like news writing and living my best life.

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WE Club’s Awareness Walk sheds light on student inequality