Published on March 13th, 2017 | by Lea Yamashiro0
Ms. Viking Petition
After a group of female students held a powerful petition, advocating for a Ms. Viking side to the traditionally male-only event, gender equality has come to Samo’s Mr. Viking competition.
A month ago, Dee Cruz (’17) led several other girls in bringing about this petition with a goal to help create a competition where female students can have an equal opportunity to win the large prizes only male contestants have been able to compete for in the past.
Now, they have an equal opportunity to vie for the large prizes and showcase their own talents and skills.
“Although I didn’t start the petition, I’ve always felt very strongly that girls should either be able to participate in the Mr. Viking competition or have another chance to compete for and win the prizes offered, which are very substantial,” Amalia Davis del Piccolo (’17) said.
The girls’ movement has gathered a lot of support from students and teachers alike.
“Most kids reacted in a positive manner,” Jazlyn Landaverde (’17) said. “Many were eager to participate in supporting our petition by signing and sharing the information.”
Leading up to the release of the petition, there had been slight controversy over the prospect of this addition to the tradition, and people have been reacting in many different ways. While most kids were very supportive, some say that they had not been receiving the same treatment and reactions from the administration.
“Administration’s reaction on the other hand was very negative,” Davis del Piccolo said. “The only people who stood in the way of this change was admin and the comments that were said to my fellow female classmates who were fighting for the change truly disgusted me.”
However, Samo principal Antonio Shelton says that he has felt rather indifferent about the competition, which is understandable given the fact that he has not been at Samo to witness a Mr. Viking competition.
“The young ladies of Samo have a right to express their opinions in the way that they see fit,” Shelton said. “It is important for me to know and understand why this is so important to them.”
Now, the female students who can finally participate have the support of the administration and the competition planners.
“Nothing changes other than adding the ‘Ms.’ on things. It’s the same rules, same rubric, same everything,” Bryn Boyd said. “We’re really excited, we’re excited to do it for both ‘Mr.’ and ‘Ms.’ It should be really fun, everybody should come out.”
Though many of the leaders of the movement were initially upset about the administration’s “negligence,” they are happy now that the petition sparked change.
“It was scary to see how at first our school’s administration handled it, but it was inspiring that the students were the ones to take action and advocate for what they believed to be right,” Analisa Burns (’17) said.
Now, the tension has been lifted from the issue and the girls are satisfied that their petition was successful. Preparations are already being made for the new addition to the competition and many female students are now looking forward to being able to compete for the new title of Ms. Viking.