A Campus Divided Needs Some Unity

Julian Stauffer

The lack of communication among students at Novato High directly leads to an overall lack of unification in the student body. Compared to some other high schools within Marin, Novato High’s climate often lacks enthusiasm and pride.

Novato High is unique to other schools in Marin because it incorporates the Marin School of the Arts program. The program draws students from all across Marin and the North Bay, which helps bring diverse styles and interests to Novato. But, diverse styles and interests could become more positive influential factors if these MSA students communicate and socialize with their other peers. 

Finding common interests with students that appear to be in different groups has become a major challenge for many at Novato High.

At other high schools, like Tam and Drake, programs like Model United Nations and Peer Resource help create a climate of growth, connectivity and bonding. Peer Resource is a class where students are trained in educating their fellow students on aspects of teen and adult life such as mental health, sexual health, and drug abuse. Programs like these could serve to benefit Novato High and form more togetherness.

MSA attracts so many specialized students to campus, which creates the possibility of a separation within the student body. The difference of students’ interests at Novato High could contribute to the divide of the student body. 

Katie Sullivan, a junior at Novato High, talked about what she noticed at NHS.

“I feel like only MSA students go to MSA events and outside people don’t really go to those events,” said Sullivan. “Non-MSA people don’t get to experience or see the MSA work in their daily lives.” 

MSA junior Kasey Hernandez talked about what she sees on campus with student culture. 

“There’s definitely a divide,” said Hernandez. “I think there’s a big difference between MSA kids and non-MSA kids. A big majority of students are in MSA. I know oftentimes they don’t mix,” Hernandez elaborated.

Most students tend to stay in their own lanes, although there are some exceptions. It’s not common that we see the basketball players at a school play, or the choir performers at a football game.

An article by Leah Shafer on Harvard.edu discussed what makes a strong culture at a school. 

“Beliefs, values, and actions will spread the farthest and be tightly reinforced when everyone is communicating with everyone else,” Shafer wrote.

When the school has events that incorporate different students’ interests, then there can be stronger communication among kids at the school. This poses the idea that if Novato High School had more programs such as Model UN and Peer Resource that seek to incorporate different groups of students, then there would be better communication and more unity within the student body. 

Students with different interests generally take part in activities that are specific to what they like. When students remain limited in their interests and resist branching out, it results in a very divided campus. It would benefit the unification of Novato if students could expand their scopes and sample some new tastes and people.