How Come Girls Do Everything Around Here?

Standing at the front of the room full of CARE volunteers, I noticed hardly any boys. What’s more, most of the boys who were at the meeting came simply because I had asked them to. Later that day, when I went to a Sustainability Committee meeting, I noticed something similar: no boys.

CARE

Women volunteering at last year’s Pink the Rink fundraiser (from L to R: Aude-Marie Ackebo ’18, Morgan Broderick ’19, Ms. Aerie Treska, and Olivia Skriloff ’18). Photo provided,

As the head of Northwood’s community service club, I’ve come to the conclusion that boys at Northwood don’t like to volunteer. Every time I set up a meeting, I have to personally ask specific boys to show up to divide responsibility. Yet only a few of them attend. Some boys have said that they had academic commitments. Others say that they forgot or that decided not to come. Although meeting times are usually announced ahead of time at school meeting or through school-wide emails, usually, only several students show up. Well, usually, only several girls show up.

This led me to question, why are girls so eager to volunteer while boys aren’t?

Reasons vary from having limited free time to a lack of interest. The first reason is understandable. When the school is on its intense winter schedule, many students prefer spending the small amount of free time with their friends. Kevin Quinn ‘19 said, “At Northwood, especially during winter schedule, I’m super busy with just balancing school and skiing. It could be a bad decision to add more things to my plate.” Jake Reynolds ‘19 agreed. “Being a student-athlete at Northwood, especially in the winter, leaves virtually no time to have a CARE meeting.” However, some day students think the opposite. Charlie Purcell ‘21 said, “I’m a day student, so I’m not overly engaged with the [school] community. I can only spend a certain amount of time at school. I want to be more a part of anything that I can do for the community.”

For many of our girls, free time doesn’t even cross their minds when they hear there is a meeting. Junior Maggie MacNeil “Oh my god I get excited! I love getting involved and I love helping people out, I love making people happy it makes me happy.” The interest seems to be more obvious with girls, more girls than boys approach me about joining CARE. Braelyn Tebo ‘20, an important member of the Sustainability Club said when asked why she volunteers for meetings “I like the earth. If I have kids I want them to like the earth and not die because of pollution and stuff.” She also noted that turn out is low. When Braelyn sees an email or hears an announcement, she says: “I think ‘oh I wonder how many people are going to show up this time.’ Because usually there’s only two, three, four at best.”

As for the creation of new committees, not many ideas have been discussed. Courtney Fairchild ‘20 is interested in restarting the GSA. Courtney, who is on both CARE and Sustainability, not to mention on the girls’ hockey team and in numerous drama performances, has said: “I want to start up the GSA again at Northwood so that I can educate people about the LGBT community and provide a safe space LGBT students.”

Not all of our major clubs and committees are run by girls. After all, the popular Cheese Club was started by Dillon Smith ‘16 and his legacy is carried on by his younger siblings Aiden and Chelsea ‘19.

Maybe some boys should follow the girls’ example. We all have limited free time; how will a 15-minute meeting take away a huge amount of it?

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