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Unseen service
May 2, 2024
SOCCER STAR Dayne Bartscht ‘04, pictured on the right, was a star player and captain of the soccer team at Greenhills. “He was the guy you wanted on your team and the player that other teams loved to hate,” Associate Director of Admissions and former athletic director Eric Gajar said. “He was chippy, and he didn’t take anything from other people.”
Brewing it up
May 1, 2024

The donkey and the gryphon

Greenhills’ political uniformity and how to diversify it.

Growing up in Ann Arbor, I was always really introduced to the typical political ideals of a college town, that being all views very liberal. So liberal to the point where from 6th grade to 9th grade I considered myself a communist. In the summer of 8th grade I went to a Climate Change summit in Boston with people from many different backgrounds with lecturers from around the country, outside of my bubble. The political discourse and differences of opinion allowed me to really see the ideas that I supported challenged in a way I had never really thought about in the Ann Arbor liberal bubble. This caused me to really think about what I personally believe in and I believe changed me for the better. To me, I worry that without the political discourse that represents a true microcosm of the United States, the energy of the political echo chamber of Greenhills, with the same ideas being bounced off each other, could end in radicalism fairly quickly. 

It’s no secret that Greenhills is a liberal-minded school. It’s in a college town, many families are affiliated with U of M, and offer classes like Health, in the 9th grade, which talks about sexuality as well as safe sex procedures. In today’s post Roe v. Wade world, teaching about these things in school is very controversial, often the outcome of choosing to teach or not teach the subjects puts you firmly on the side of liberal or conservative. Greenhills’ decision to teach these subjects closely aligns with Democrats on the issue.

While Greenhills does a generally good job of making Greenhills a politically open space with programs like Politics Club that endorses all political views, the overall political atmosphere of Greenhills is very one sided and uniform. As a result of this, History and English classes, where politics are more likely to come up, generally start to sound like liberal viewpoint discussion sections, alienating some students who maybe have more conservative views. 

Political discourse and disagreement is a good thing to challenge your ideas or strengthen your own by looking at it from a different perspective and this just does not happen in classes like these. To fix this I aim for more diversity in Greenhills. Not diversity in the traditional sense but diversity as in hiring more teachers from diverse backgrounds across the country and introducing students to ideas in other parts of the country, liberal or conservative. For example, a teacher from Florida while teaching a class like American Literature while discussing a book on activism, might share how activism looks different where they grew up in contrast to in the Ann Arbor bubble. In this approach, no person is alienated and students get to see two sides of the same coin.

 Again, Ann Arbor is a very liberal city fostering a student atmosphere closely aligned with progressiveism. To diversify our student body, the admissions office could increase enrollment efforts outside of the main Ann Arbor area, reaching out to more politically diverse regions around Ann Arbor for enrollment.

Marcus Aurelius, the famous Roman emperor, once said, “Cast off your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.” Like Aurelius, we must cast off our pride and hear out other sides and different perspectives to become more politically informed.

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