A Collective Charge

By Puma Press Editorial Board

While we all bring our own quirks and perspectives to University Prep, the school community is largely homogenous. Most students identity as white and straight and reside in well-off households. We spend school days in classrooms with mostly white teachers. But this doesn’t mean UPrep must only be welcoming to one demographic.

As UPrep aims to accommodate a diverse student body, the effects have been evident across the school. Teachers have added pronouns to their email signatures, and Community Conversations have tackled stereotypes. The Black Student Union and the Community, Ethics and Culture Committee swiftly addressed the cultural appropriation in the junior boy’s Buff Puff video this year at an Upper School assembly.

Such changes, however, have not all been welcomed with open arms. When you don’t feel like LGBTQ+ plus issues apply to you, it can be easy to ignore the importance of gender pronouns to others. Following the addressing of the problematic hype video featuring a white student in a durag, some scoffed at the hampering of a Homecoming tradition.

As a community, we must aim to embrace such awareness instead. Fine Arts teacher and theater manager Paul Fleming remembers the prejudice he saw around the community when he first came out as gay several decades ago. Since, Fleming recalls that the culture has changed for the better. Moving forward, UPrep must aim to adapt as the culture continues to change.

While sharing preferred pronouns and remaining conscious of potentially hurtful stereotypes may be new to some, the community can’t ignore minority concerns. Just as it’s everyone’s right to bring their full selves to the UPrep community, it is a shared responsibility to make that possible.