A Space of Our Own

Student Voices in the Community

A Space of Our Own

Schools are a microcosm of their larger community, reflecting aspects of their diversity and shortcomings. There are disagreements and issues that can arise, so how does each school address these? For St. George’s, students can turn to the MySpace Alliance Club.

MySpace Alliance is a club started by members of the student body focused on discussing world and community issues, both broadly and personally.

Senior Campbell Humphrey, who has been a member since 2021, explained what happens during MySpace.

“MySpace directly confronts the problems,” said Humphrey “[We discuss] anything.”

MySpace is a confidential, controlled space for its members. Topics discussed can include anything from microaggressions in the school community to people eating in class — each is approached holistically; everyone is allowed to speak.

Having a dedicated, student-led place to talk through matters affecting their lives enables diverse viewpoints to be shared and fosters a healthy community relationship.

While Ms. Jessica Hardy, Director of College Guidance, sits in as a moderator, the student leaders, seniors DeJa Harris, Erin Johnson, Hannah Morrison and Mayyadah Alzaben are able to freely conduct discussions.

Sofia Delahoussaye, a junior and first-year member of MySpace Alliance Club, spoke to the leadership.

“It’s pretty much completely student-led,” she said. “There will be teachers or counselors that sit in there, but the student leaders of the club basically decide what we do.”

Humphrey also agreed. The group offers a comfortable environment for students to express themselves.

“All the people in there are kind, and they’re good listeners and I just feel safe in there,” she said.

Delahoussaye agreed on how important safety is for communication. “People will say their perspective as long as they’re comfortable [with] where they’re coming from.”

When students feel safer with their identities, they can express themselves more and feel much safer in the community.

One of the club leaders, Prefect of the Arts DeJa Harris, confirmed this.

“We’ve tried not to change it, keeping it an open space, a place to talk about things; talk about diversity, race, gender, all of that is welcome there,” she said.

Harris has been a member of MySpace since her freshman year and has watched how it has grown.

“It started a lot smaller, it was just a few people,” she added.

Now, MySpace has grown a significant amount.

MySpace started in 2016 as Meet in the Middle and changed to its current moniker in 2018, the year before multiple issues of diversity came up within the community.

The impact of these matters reverberated — families left, feeling the continuous infractions were too far, especially considering personal discrimination their students had faced.

Students can frequently take a more relatable approach to explaining complex issues. A close friend addressing a problem seems more personable than an expert who may not understand the St. George’s culture—a guest speaker is rarely ever as impactful or knowledgable.

“MySpace addresses [topics] more personally [but] the school is more like ‘don’t say things like this, act like this,’” said Delahoussaye.

Students might feel like this impersonal approach leaves little room for people who have faced discrimination to speak about their experiences — it can be difficult for students who have never faced discrimination to identify with the struggles of minorities.

Oftentimes, students feel that the school glosses over inclusion — there is a top-down approach to diversity that many feel fizzles out soon after its introduction.

In recent years, issues of racism and antisemitism have caused disruption within the St. George’s community — a swastika was drawn in a locker bay. Microaggressions against minority groups frequently go unreported.

It isn’t a secret.

“I’m a prefect…and then I’m a varsity cheerleader. And I do all of these things…but at the end of the day, I came from the Memphis Campus, and I’m still Black, and I’m still female,” said Harris. “There are some people … that don’t respect people of the opposite color.”

The administration works damage control against rumors and accusations while the student body is left wondering how to move forward. People are confused, hurt, and spreading what little information they have into distortions that only make the recovery process more difficult.

MySpace works to alleviate these issues — the club creates an open forum for people to share their ideas and feelings without judgment.

“A lot of the time even people who don’t agree with the things that are happening [are] uncomfortable about talking about it. And that’s kind of what MySpace is trying to introduce or break through,” remarked Harris.

MySpace tries to offer a lasting place where people can be genuine about their concerns and beliefs on all ends of the spectrum.

The club has made big strides in recent years, mostly under the radar.

Harris explained, “We were making so many changes and no one knew. And that was just from us talking and being open about things that we were concerned about, or things that we loved.”

Members routinely practice student advocacy to have discussions about issues they think are important: the position of Prefect of Diversity was added in 2019 to elevate the voices of minorities and the club will raise its voice when it feels a matter needs to be addressed.

MySpace Alliance Club meets biweekly on Thursdays during lunch in H163.