Community of Convocation

Vishan Chaudhary

Convocation has become a staple of the first day of school, as every year students and faculty from both campuses congregate as one group. It helps foster a sense of community that the school would otherwise lack.

When the school created convocation four years ago, the goal was to create a time for students from both campuses come together in one place. Many students only thought one thing: they had to sit on the hot astroturf for 45 minutes. But even though it can be overlooked and ridiculed, the inculcation of community spirit should be valued. Without a sense of community, the atmosphere feels more isolated and atomized instead of welcoming. Ideally, students should have a common identity of being a part of the school, yet Coldwater Canyon separates our two communities.

Every year, the mission statement is read, instilling our core values in each student. . Students across all grades know what the school stands for, and what we have in common. Convocation highlights our shared beliefs as everyone gathers in the same place, hears the same speeches and learns what our school strives to be.

Even though certain events at each campus promote school spirit, there is only one time where the entire school participates in one of these events. Convocation allows each and every student to mingle with people from other grades and campuses, and embodies the diverse and inclusive community that we strive to be.

Instead of separating the grades, convocation welcomes seventh graders to the community. The seniors sit in the bleachers next to the school’s newest members, showing that regardless of age difference, the two groups have a common bond. Even though diversity is one of our most prized virtues, without a shared experience, our community will be divided. Convocation allows every student and faculty member to recognize what they have in common. 

In the short time that students have before classes resume, they’re able to catch up with old friends or teachers from different campuses, something that wouldn’t be possible without convocation. There would be a lack of a connection between our two campuses, as students would simply leave the Middle School after ninth grade, and occasionally run into people from their old campus. Convocation allows students and faculty to come together every year, increasing the bond between community members. Even if it’s not perfect, convocation is the only time that students and faculty from both campuses come together as one in the same place.

At convocation, we also witness the Prefects and Student Council Senators take their oath  as the elected leaders of the student body. Four students from each grade take on the responsibility of representing their respective classes during convocation. We hear speeches from the Head Prefects, which lay out both the strengths of our community, and its flaws. Those messages set the tone throughout the year on both campuses, as we learn what the school community needs to improve.

Although some may be  resistant to the idea of collective identity, students should change their perspective of convocation and recognize that it helps us strengthen our community. Even though we pride ourselves on diversity and difference, the school community will be fractured unless we continue to recognize what we have in common. Convocation is the backbone of our community, and without it, our two campuses would remain isolated and atomized, instead of bound by a shared identity.