REbeL reflects on shift in structure

REbeL endured a major shift in their structure at the beginning of the year and has begun to recognize the effects of the change.

Olivia Baird, Opinion editor

BVNW’s REbeL has begun the first year with a significant change in its structure. Sponsor Carolyn Potter said the new setup has two main groups; a peer educator group, which is a smaller group that meets once a week, and an activist group, which is larger in comparison and meets one to two times each month.

“The major change this year with the structure of REbeL is we’ve kind of added a new tier of involvement,” Potter said. “[The new activist group] is a group that the time commitment is slightly less demanding, so it isn’t an every week type of thing.”

Potter said the change was first introduced by REbeL’s founder, Dr. Laura Eickman. Potter said that because REbeL began at BVNW, Eickman chose it to be the first school to “pilot” the program. Eickman proposed this change after applications were already sent out, and Potter said this sudden change made the application process difficult.

Despite all this, senior Cara Lunsford, a member of REbeL’s leadership team, said the change has had a positive impact on the program thus far.

“[The activist group is] great for people who are super involved in other things or in sports and have other after-school activities, so it’s really great for them to be able to get involved,” Lunsford said. “They are still involved in the walk and the weeks as well, it’s just a little bit less of a commitment on a weekly basis.”

A benefit of this additional group, Lunsford said, is that they were able to accept every applicant interested in joining the program. Lunsford said this helps the program in that it clears up one of the controversial aspects to REbeL.

“We’re trying to accept as many people as we can,” Lunsford said. “We’d gotten some criticism in the past about how we take applications and then cut people, and it was that conflicting with our message. I think it’s definitely good that we took everyone who applied this year.”

While the activist group does clear up that controversy, Lunsford said that like anything, there is a possible downside to the admittance of every applicant.

“If people are members but are not really devoted to it that could end up hurting us because they may just want to be in REbeL for the title or to put it on their application, so if they’re really not devoted to the message then that could hurt us,” Lunsford said.

Above all, Potter said the addition of the activist group will help spread REbeL’s message even better, and she has high expectations for the group.

“I think everyone has something that they can contribute to REbeL,” Potter said. “That’s why I think it’s a good thing that we accepted everyone in some sense, that everyone who applied and demonstrated that they were interested in this topic has the chance to get involved and be active in spreading the message to everyone else.”