Unity Month approaches at TuHS

Karys Gates, Staff Writer

As April approaches, so does Unity Month! Unity Month at TuHS is an entire month dedicated to making the school more inclusive and welcoming to all. We talked with associate principal Melissa Glick and junior Atlas Sprague, president of the Gender Sexuality Alliance. Both gave us helpful insights about their amazing efforts during Unity Month.

What is Unity Month?

“It is a way for the school to bring awareness to a plethora of our school’s important issues facing the student body,” Sprague said. 

They said these are issues that touch the daily lives of so many students because we all look for somewhere we feel we belong. Affinity groups are a great way to find belonging at TuHS. Even if we’re not a part of these groups ourselves, Black Student Union (BSU), MeCha, Pacific Islander Club, GSA, Mental Health Club, No Place for Hate and other groups can teach us how to be better allies. 

Sprague has a passion for recognizing that the characteristics that make each of us unique enrich our society, and ironically, it is through acknowledging these differences students can come together in unity.

Glick defined Unity Month as, “A month to unify the school and bring understanding to various people’s experiences both in and outside the school.” 

She emphasized that during this month we celebrate the diversity of our student body, but it is also a month to acknowledge complex truths about our school in an effort to become strong allies and support one another. It can be scary to speak our own truth and allow ourselves to be seen here at school, and the point of Unity Month is to make sure we each feel seen, heard and supported, she said.

Sprague and Glick both acknowledge that making Unity Month happen means a lot of work behind the scenes. Between weekly meetings and a lot of volunteer time to decorate the school and plan events, affinity groups and student council members give a lot of time and effort to make this month special.

This year, Unity Month will cover a range of topics.

“My group, being the Gender Sexuality Alliance, will be mostly handling topics relating to heterosexism and transphobia around us and in our school,” Sprague said, “as well as how to be a better ally to the LGBTQ+ community.” 

Glick has a range of questions she challenges us with: “Who is in our community? What are the moments of belonging in this school? When do we feel like we don’t belong? What microaggressions do we face? How can we support our own mental health so we can be in a place to support others?” 

In the current political climate, not everyone agrees about what should be discussed in school. Glick feels strongly that it is part of students’ education to consider who is in their community, the varied experiences at Tualatin High School and how we can support each other in being a unified and diverse school.

The Wolf staff looks forward to the upcoming month and how TuHS will come together in unity to celebrate all the amazing diversity at our school.