Common Roots branches out

December 9, 2017 — by Andrew Lee and Leo Cao

Whether it’s grades or relationships with friends, many students experience stress and pressure every day, especially nearing the end of this semester.

On Dec. 8, Common Roots held a student-teacher forum at lunch in the Small Gym, where many students got to enjoy talking to some of their favorite teachers and enjoy bagels and donuts.

Common Roots, a student-led club that provides peer-to-peer counseling, is a resource there to help students struggling with personal issues. Currently, the club is also working on developing stronger relationships between teachers and students.

“Teachers are great resources not only for academic support but are also great people that students can talk to about almost anything imaginable,” said senior Andrew Zheng, the club’s treasurer.

The officers of Common Roots believe that fostering strong student-teacher relationships will lower stress by helping students find trusted adults through common interests and build better relationships.

According to Zheng, the club aims to better support the students by making students more comfortable with confiding in adults on campus.

“We feel that a lot of people forget that teachers are great people to talk about life with, which prompted us to do this activity,” Zheng said.

According to club president Smrithi Balebail, Common Roots contacted different administrators and teachers for advice on how to successfully execute this activity.

“Common Roots is really trying to make this experience comfortable for everyone,” Balebail said. “We talked to a few teachers and assistant principal [Kerry Mohnike] to gain their insight on how to do this as well.” Members of the club are hoping their three-part activity will be beneficial for both students and teachers alike. Their next event is planned to take place on Dec. 15.

“This is the first year we are doing this activity, so personally I don't know how successful it will be,” Zheng said. “But I hope it will give us a lot insight about what we can do in the future.”


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Friends make a circle during a dance for the winter formal held on Dec. 1 in the Large Gym. More than 500 students attended.

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December 19: Periods 7 and 5 final exams

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