Various clubs at AHS have gained new members this school year. Among these is ASA, The African Student Association Sankofa chapter at Austin High School. ASA works to educate students about the essence of African culture and its existence in modern society. One of the cultural activities on ASA’s agenda was to perform at a cultural festival.
However, upon seeking approval from the district to participate in the festival, ASA was denied, with the district claiming that performing at the festival was not educational enough. I spoke with an ASA member to see what they thought about the district's decision, as well as ASA's plans for their agenda moving forward.
“I doubt there was any valid reasoning behind the district disproving ASA.”, said ASA officer senior Nataniella Essang in response to being asked why she thought ASA was denied. “I think that the district may view the idea of approving a cultural club as a waste of time, but the reality is that it makes a huge impact when all clubs aren’t given the same respect.”
When asked about how ASA plans to move forward with their agenda, Essang said, “The plan is for ASA to ask the district for any confirmation earlier on so we can possibly appeal multiple times if we need to, and hope for the best. Since the problem was our dance performance not being educational enough, we are also going to try to connect our performances to more educational mediums and appeals.”
Our conversation ended with my asking if Essang knew of any other cultural clubs that had been denied for similar activities by the district, to which Essang responded, “No clubs have been denied that I know of.”
While the addition of new organizations to AHS and the continuance of others provides students with a positive outlet at school, it has become clear that students’ hopes to participate in club activities can be easily dashed.