United we will dance


Rachel Budithi

Junior girls don the iconic Pink Ladies jackets. Left to right: Lana Gharia, Vera Fong, Maggie LaRos, Allie Gosenheimer, Miriam Budithi, and Fuka Sunagawa

April Martinez and Maheen Torania

Apart from maybe the last day of school, homecoming week is one of the most anticipated events of the entire school year. Not only is it fun for its spirit wear dress down days and its pep rallies, but it’s also one of the only times during the year where the student body is unified under one common theme: school pride.

Recently, however, the homecoming dance itself has begun doing the opposite of what it’s supposed to, destroying the unity of our school and further separating groups of people. Every high school has exclusive cliques — small groups of people with similar interests who hang out with each other and each other alone — and Brookfield Central is no exception.

While nothing prevents these cliques from showing up during the school day or in extracurriculars, the dance is supposed to be a social event that invites all students, regardless of grade level or popularity to enjoy themselves. However, from an insider’s perspective, the cliques are even more divisive and clear. At the front, closer to the DJ, you have your popular upperclassmen, who form an unbreachable wall that causes students on the outside to feel discouraged from participating. Then, you have your perimeter groups, which surround the inner circle in hopes of shoving their way to the front (a highly uncomfortable, not to mention dangerous feat).

Unless you are part of your year’s “in-group”, these social and physical pressures are guaranteed to disrupt your enjoyment of homecoming. For example, at our most recent dance, the DJ kept pausing the music every couple of minutes to try and get students to stop shoving. Not only did most seniors ignore him, but they even yelled at the underclassmen to move to the back. They treated the center of the dance floor as if they had earned it after waiting on the outside of the crowd for four years. Yes, it may be exhilarating to dance close to the DJ’s booth, but that exhilaration isn’t worth everyone else’s discomfort.

To restore unity in our school and in our dances, upperclassmen should take it upon themselves to include other students. Seniors, especially those included in the “in-group”, should be aware of the influence they have and use it in a positive manner. Let’s build up our school pride, not tear it down as soon as homecoming rolls around.