Posted by: Staff | 02.08.2010

SALs Gearing Up for Most Profound Presentation in History

SEBASTIAN SMITH ’11 

The BCDS Social Action Leaders (SALs) are a student run group of 32 upper schoolers who meet every Tuesday morning for an hour. The group works to find current issues that affect the Beaver community and outside society. The group began this year by adding 15 new students from all upper school grades which has given the group new idiosyncratic perspectives. SALs starts each year by choosing a topic for the year, last year the topic was privilege. We learned about issues including disabilities, in which we had a handicaped guest speaker give unique insight into her daily life she faces and the oppression  she has experienced. 

     One of the most important activities the group did last year was an exercise called the privilege  line. This exercise begins with all participants standing on a straight line then questions are asked, in the case of our privilege line the questions were about privilege. If you answered yes to the question you take a step forward and if no take a step back. This exercise is very powerful and gives a strong sense of self and position in your society.

    The group gained major recognition throughout the school with their two informative forums in ’08-’09. This year the SALs are trying to better inform themselves and the community and actually activate social change in class rooms and student and teacher prospective. The group has already picked SAL leaders and have chosen our topic of the year, which is gender. The SAL board is now up opposite Mr. Principe’s office and includes personal bios with pictures and current SAL news.

     This group is a great example of hard working Beaver students promoting the school’s beliefs of equality, a safe social environment, and passion to learn. But to project these ideas on the entire community, SALs usually present two to three times a year about what they are studying and learning. 

     On March 4th, the SALs will present for the first time this year, but with some profound differences. First, the students and teachers will be asked to take surveys about gender. Next, SALs will put up questions around the school open for anonymous response. The group also got extra insight from Nancy Marshall, a Wellesley College professor of gender studies. Lastly, SALs has been working to find the best ways to present information and captivate the student body and teaching staff. The biggest difference about the presentation this year is it will be more interactive and focus on teachers. The reason behind this is the group hopes to inspire teachers to add more social action in the curriculum, which is one of the main goals of the group.

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