NAMES Replaced with Guest Speaker

Senior Abeer Zaidi writes on the RESPECT board at NAMES on Wednesday, Oct. 6. Photo by Ivana Kosir

Senior Abeer Zaidi writes on the RESPECT board at NAMES on Wednesday, Oct. 6. Photo by Ivana Kosir

By Rachel Hernandez-Velarde

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Instead of the NAMES Assembly, Niles West will instead be holding “Find Your Shovel,” an assembly presented by Davey Muise of the hardcore band Vanna.

The NAMES assembly used to be focused on bullying and was exclusively for freshman, but it has now expanded to involve all grade levels. Find Your Shovel will be more focused on positivity and being able to find a way out of struggling.

After receiving feedback from students and teachers, student activities director Katie Odell decided to make a change from the old assembly.

“A lot of feedback I was getting with students was that after they’re done with NAMES, you don’t talk about it ever again. Teachers were pulled out of class for training, and so were students. I didn’t feel the amount students were getting out of it was necessarily paying off with the amount of time we had so many people putting into it,” Odell said.

However, not everyone is happy with the sudden change.

“I’m upset that they canceled the NAMES assembly because it was about the students connecting to each other and understanding each other,” Junior Sliwa Younadim said.

Many students liked that they were able to see the other side of their peers.

“Certain people’s story made me cry. Not knowing that happened to them touched me,” Senior Alex Gillespie said.

Odell will try to bring in different guest speakers each year.

“He’s not necessarily going to follow along with bullying but with the positive vibe Names was giving us but all the school involved in it. The goal is to bring a different person in every year but be able to touch upon a different topic and be able to touch upon everybody in the school,” she said.