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The pinnacle of Falcon journalism

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The pinnacle of Falcon journalism

The Pitch

STAAR hosts gleeful Pride Month celebration

STAAR+members+engage+with+students+at+one+of+the+many+booths+organized+for+the+Pride+lunch+event+on+June+7.+
Harry Nemeth
STAAR members engage with students at one of the many booths organized for the Pride lunch event on June 7.

On Friday, June 7, Students Taking Action for Anti-Racism (STAAR) club partnered with the Wellness Center and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance club (GSA) to host an event celebrating Pride Month at Archie Williams. During lunchtime, students gathered at the senior tree and enjoyed numerous booths with a variety of games and activities to promote Pride awareness. The event produced a large turnout of students, teachers and staff.

In the 2023-24 school year, the STAAR program changed from a leadership class to a club, where students attend lunchtime meetings twice a week. Although the demotion lowered the number of students involved in the planned activities, STAAR students are passionate about their events such as the Pride lunch event. 

A crowd gathers near the senior tree to participate in STAAR’s celebration of Pride Month. (Harry Nemeth)

Senior Jane Adams has been a part of STAAR for three years, and during the Friday lunch event she hosted a Pride Jeopardy booth. Many students gravitated towards the game, hoping to win a rewarding lollipop and test their knowledge. 

The festival also included elements of the role of gender in indigenous New Zealand and Hawaiian history. 

“We get to focus on Pride, but also incorporating [other] aspects of where social justice fits into [Pride]…It’s really exciting because we get to work with a blend of different groups,” Jane said.

Jane has noticed an increased turnout at STAAR festivities throughout the year and is ecstatic about the growing participation. She feels that STAAR events have been overlooked in the past.  

“We’ve definitely had a really good turnout for our events this year. We’ve really focused on making them fun and engaging, while also being educational. I feel like we’ve gotten a good turnout because it’s very appealing,” Jane said. 

Junior Casey Lefevre-Trigg worked with GSA and STAAR to host a booth supporting the trans and queer community with a trivia spin-the-wheel game. Once participants spun the wheel and landed on a question, they looked for answers on colorful posters behind the booth and were rewarded with bubbles if the question was answered correctly. 

Archie Williams staff members Kaki McLachlan and Suz Blunk pose during STARR’s pride event. (Harry Nemeth)

“One of the really important things that we wanted to highlight in our Pride event is specifically the queer and trans experience within communities of color,” Casey said.

Casey feels that the devolvement of STAAR from class to club has directly impacted student activism, but remains optimistic for the upcoming year.

“I think it would be really great next year to be able to recruit even more people. I think that ultimately, the bigger the club is, and the larger its presence on campus, the more we’re going to be able to do and the better the events are going to be,” Casey said.

Members of STAAR feel disappointed in the wake of the organization’s recent cutbacks but are grateful for the opportunities given to them in previous years. STAAR advisor LoRayne Ortega has been teaching the group of students for the past eight years and has seen the curriculum shift from club to class, and back to a club. 

“We were able to dive into critical race theory [when we had the class], and we were able to dive into all the learning and the history behind being anti-racist, and we don’t have time for that during a club. When we were able to do that as a class, it informed these kinds of events like our pride event, it informed it at a deeper level because we could speak to a lot of the problems that we still have,” Ortega said. 

Ortega is proud that her students have remained motivated, even after such a dramatic change. She is proud of the turnout at the Friday Pride lunch event and is hopeful to see what type of involvement ASB and PR will have with STAAR next school year. 

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Kyra Featherstone
Kyra Featherstone, Reporter
Kyra is a senior, in her third year of journalism. She loves pickles, listening to music, and stargazing. You can find her driving around with her bag of Cheez-Its or rushing around because she is probably late.
Harry Nemeth
Harry Nemeth, Photographer
Harry is a senior, in his first year of journalism. He can often be found producing music or using his camera. He loves stew and joined the class because he loves photography and wanted to pursue writing in a serious way.
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