Palo Alto High School's Social Activism Publication

Sandhya Krishnan

5 Questions with Rise Club

Club Presidents Bella Nguyen and Siri Schaefer Bastian Tells Us about Their Achievements and Goals for the Future of the Club

RISE is a Palo Alto High School club devoted to promoting sexual safety and consent culture and led by juniors Bella Nguyen and Siri Schaefer Bastian. Anthro Magazine sat down with Nguyen for a Q&A about RISE.


1. How does RISE work to implement your club’s purpose?

Rise’s mission is to raise awareness and educate our community about consent culture, healthy relationships, and a safe campus environment. Our most recent and in-working project is Paly’s consent education. We have been working with Paly admin, the Wellness Center and One Love, a nonprofit organization. Creating engaging, impactful and meaningful workshops that will effectively bring awareness and educate students about consent and healthy relationships to the entire student body is our goal in this project. 


2. What has RISE accomplished so far? 

This club has been around longer than we’ve been at Paly. In past years, RISE has succeeded in raising awareness around sexual misconduct, acting as a source of support for students, and networking with outside organizations. Last year, we worked with Paly Admin and a non-profit organization called One Love to create a student lead consent and healthy relationships workshop and we are currently working on ways to improve it for this year.  


3. What impact do you hope to accomplish as a result of this club?

We want to make sure that Paly is a place where all students feel safe and heard. RISE is looking to work with PAUSD middle schools to implement a consent education similar to that of Paly’s, as well as work with other high schools in the Bay Area to create a consent-conscious environment. 


4. Due to the silencing of victims in the past by PALY, such as in the Sam Hirshman case how do you guys plan to reduce instances like this in the future? 

We are working to create an easier and more accessible Title IX reporting system at Paly. While we are aware that many students may feel uncomfortable reporting, it is our goal to be a voice for them and spread awareness about the injustices of sexual misconduct and make them feel safe. 


5. Have you planned any future events? 

We have been brainstorming ideas for possible events for Denim Day we could hold at Paly. We have the full intention of spreading awareness on its significance and encouraging students to show their support for the cause by wearing denim. If any students have ideas for future RISE events please reach out to us via email, instagram, or by stopping by at one of our meetings!

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