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Clique Culture

By Patrick Stachniak and Ben Gelderloos in OP-ED

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Fairview football team huddles at Homecoming game.

The classic depiction of a high school shows a rigid hierarchy, with jocks on top and everyone else beneath them. Such is not the case at Fairview. Fairview isn’t that stupid school where the jocks are worshipped and everyone swims in their wake. We have been enlightened, and reached a place where everyone, be you nerd or jock, can prosper.

The social structure here is less set in stone, yet still questions remain about the presence of cliques in some of Fairview's organizations.

“I think that they are definitely present, I don’t think that they are as prominent as you would see in movies or some other high schools,” said Junior Jillian Shively.

Shively identifies herself as an active member of the choir program, and sees Fairview as a very accepting school.

So, Fairview defies many of the stereotypes that are the traditional depiction of high school.

Senior Alyssa Drolet, who often eats in the cafeteria, agrees and says that, while the groups are present, they aren’t discriminatory.

“I go to the cafeteria every time I have my lunch period, and it’s always the same group of people, but anyone can come in. We don’t really take anyone down,” she said. “I’ve never seen that, where people discourage you from joining this or that.”

Perhaps we are self-segregating ourselves into our social groups based on our interests. Others see the different culture as a reflection of who we give our respect, and while the traditional high school might idolise the ‘jocks,’ Fairview instead puts a more balanced focus on other activities.

“Compared to other schools I have been in, it is way more balanced. Significantly more balanced,” says Terrin Kelly, athletics director. “There are some schools where your choirs, your band, your theater program, your academic successes for national merit, the ACT,  math club, and science competitions don’t get any publicity”.

Typically, when talking about the stereotypical high school, bullying and violence tend to be a major theme. However, Fairview has never had a very big problem with violence or bullying at Fairview. So there may be something unique to Fairview that truly makes us an accepting place.

“At Fairview, we have a lot of opportunities for kids that include all grades. Being in the choir program, there are opportunities like mass choir, where you can have freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors together, so that kind of softens the “grade” clique,” says Shively. 

Fairview has close to 50 clubs, ranging from ultimate frisbee to debate, as well as many sports team. While clubs aren’t unique to Fairview, there is so much diversity in club subjects that there is a place for anyone.

While there is some exclusivity in Fairview clubs and sports, it is due mainly to differences in skill level such as in select choirs, many varsity sports, or the limited competition size for Mock Trial.

Some might consider the clubs to be exclusive, but not Terrin Kelly, the athletics director, “I think that you have a group of friends that get together and want to start a club, as opposed to initiating a club and then that’s where people meet each other and become kind of exclusive”

Most of the Fairview clubs were made by friends who had a passion for the subject and wanted an official place to have fun and maybe even have others with similar interests join in.

So Fairview is different because of the incredible amounts of clubs and opportunities, but Kelly says there’s a lot more to it than that. He continued with what makes FHS so different from other schools and what is most important to the students.  “I betch ya 75% maybe even higher would say their academic performance,” said Kelly. “I think that drives a lot of what goes on in our building.”

The lack of cliques is partly due to the massive student body at this school. With over 2,000 students in the school, it becomes harder

“It’s such a big school. Traditional schools that have cliques, they’re smaller schools...It's easier to single people out because you know them better,” said Drolet.

Fairview is a lot different than other schools. It is a home away from home for anyone who wants to be here. The only limitation to joining a group, club or sport, is your skill and your desire to participate. 

“I really think what makes Fairview unique is the academic success and that success is a function of hardworking, talented kids and hardworking, talented faculty,” said Kelly. “It is definitely a cool place to go to school.”

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