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The Corydon

The Corydon

The Student News Site of Millikan High

The Corydon

Power Pump Girls, Lets Make It Happen!

Picture taken inside the weight room.
Makayla Brown
Picture taken inside the weight room.

Weightlifting is one of the many amazing classes Millikan has offered for years for students to stay active along with PE (physical education), dance, and various other sports, but it does not seem to be talked about enough. This class is available only to juniors and seniors. 

It was not a surprise to find out that the weightlifting class is occupied with majority males. According to Mr. Schofield, one of Millikan’s PE teachers, boys soccer coach, and weightlifting teacher, only three girls are currently enrolled. One girl for each of the periods of weightlifting. The question comes down to why aren’t more girls taking weightlifting?

I believe a reason for this could include the intimidation that comes from joining a place where you are the minority.

QUEST junior Melia Kukahiko said, “I would have considered it before when my brother was here, but now it is a little more uncomfortable.” 

Similarly, SEGA sophomore Jacob Avalos feels that boys scare girls away.

“I think a girls [only] weightlifting class would be good and help them [girls] feel more comfortable,” said Avalos.

To exemplify, there is also a common experience in the world of sexual harassment in the gym. According to an article published in 2022 in USA Today, “A recent survey of 900 women found 71% of them changed their workout routine due to a negative encounter such as being watched, being followed around, or due to unwanted physical contact.” 

This leaves the question of whether the issue really is the lack of classes or is it the behavior of men that needs to be further examined and discussed. Knowing that this factor is less manageable, the school should make better efforts to separate the boys and girls in the same way they do for sports. 

Ms. Mashburn, Millikan’s head counselor, offered some insight on the limitations of starting a new weightlifting class. She explained the process that is currently in place from Oct. to Nov. where teachers and staff have the opportunity to fill out a course proposal form and offer the course they are interested in teaching along with a few other requirements. From there it goes to the master schedule team that decides if they can or can not support it along with the time frame that would be the best.

Mashburn also discusses some of the other implications and why she believes it is not a possibility in the near future.

“There are a certain number of teachers and we can’t have Schofield teach that many weightlifting classes because we need him for PE,” said Mashburn. “If we don’t have enough funding to hire more teachers we need to defer,” she added.

Mr. Brown, a new assistant principal also gave some insight on the course proposal form process. “A very important component in building a master schedule is student requests,” said Brown.

This is the data that was collected in the survey where girls were asked if they would be interested in joining an all-girls weightlifting class.

To get a more concrete representation of the views on campus, 50 girls were randomly selected during lunch where 56% felt they would join an all-girls weightlifting class, 32% responded maybe and only 12% felt it was not for them. Knowing that more than half of the surveyed girls are interested, there should be a higher effort to accommodate adding an all-girls weightlifting class to student electives. Although providing this class would be the best way to ensure a more comfortable environment, setting strict boundaries in a co-ed class and making sure they are being implemented would be another efficient solution.

Mr. Schofield, the weightlifting teacher, also feels that an all-girls weightlifting class would be a good idea. He had discussed the idea of starting an all-girls class with administration and asked if it would be a possibility in the future, but a follow up was never made.

“I always ask [girls] to join, but throughout the years the enrollment has lowered,” said Schofield. 

Weightlifting is a hobby that is continuing to grow and it should be a space that feels comfortable and inclusive for both boys and girls. Lifting weights has been proven to have many benefits like improved self confidence, increased resting metabolic rate, good movement patterns, improved bone mineral density, and a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome. Read the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) article written by Nicole Golden to learn more. Despite the limitations, an all-girls weightlifting class would be a great addition to the school. 

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About the Contributor
Arianna Garcia, Social Media Editor
Hello, my name is Arianna Garcia and I am a 10th grader in Quest.  My pronouns are she/her. Outside of school I enjoy going out into nature, traveling to different parts of Mexico, watching baseball, and taking care of younger children. I joined the Millikan Corydon because I love writing and was interested in keeping my fellow classmates updated and aware of any new information that could possibly effect them.I would like to think I am a dedicated student and am looking forward to adding more insight to this wonderful website.

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  • M

    morganNov 29, 2023 at 10:58 am

    This article is able to explain the positives of introducing a new class into the master schedule, girls-only weightlifting. Garcia describes how this could be implemented into the school and the path to take to get to that point. Also, additional feedback was added from not only faculty, but also students, on the topic. According to the article, out of the three weightlifting classes we do have, there are only 3 girls total enrolled and the rest being boys. Garcia discusses with Mrs. Mashburn, the head counselor at Millikan, discussed the topic and she explained why it might not even be a possibility to add another weightlifting class into the master schedule. Garcia tells us that this is because of, not the students, but instead challenges with teachers having availability in their schedules to teach this new class. The current weightlifting teacher states that he would like to see an all-girls weightlifting class added to the school. The current reason many girls feel uncomfortable with joining co-ed weightlifting classes, as Garcia describes, is that many girls can feel uncomfortable with sharing that space with boys. Garcia makes an addition of statistics into her article by interviewing 50 girls from random at lunch. 56% were seen to join an only girls weightlifting class, 32% said maybe, and 12% implemented that it would not be for them. Garcia goes on to say that over half of the girls interviewed expressed that if an only-girls weightlifting class was added, meaning that there should be a better effort to providing this class.

  • M

    Maggie WellsNov 29, 2023 at 9:43 am

    On November 3, 2023, Arianna Garcia wrote an article titled “Power Pump Girls, Let’s Make It Happen!”. This article really stood out to me as a girl who lifts weights regularly, and the author did a great job of specifically laying out the issue and what steps can be done to take action. I especially liked the included quotes from interviews with not only the girls that are scared to join weight lifting, but the teachers and their concerns as well. It’s also very important how the author provided a well researched solution and gathered data to prove that a lot of girls would join an all girls weightlifting class. The article also reaches out in sympathy for the girls who feel scared to partake in such all male classes, and gives them a solution which the author has researched and even gotten an opinion from a head staff member. The end of the article leaves you with the inspiration to help make the change, despite the limitations within our school.

  • S

    Sophia NygaardNov 29, 2023 at 9:26 am

    On November 3, 2023, Arianna Garcia wrote an article titled “Power Pump Girls, Let’s Make It Happen!” which spotlights the awareness of comfortability in weightlifting classes for women. Arianna does a beautiful job gathering data and providing possible reasons for the slow decline in women enrolling in the class, along with the highlight of a new weightlifting class mainly focusing on all girls, which could make headway into the school. But as a junior myself, I have never heard of nor seen this class before and am wondering why there isn’t more publicity for this class. Could that also be a contributing factor to the low rates of enrollment? Another topic I would like to shout out is the inclusion of sexual harassment and how that is being considered as one of the factors of few women joining, as it is a severe topic not just in school but also throughout the world. Arianna portrays this not just through evidence from the article “USA Today” but also from two students at Millikan who give insight on the topic. Could this be a new step into a brighter future for other classes for women here at Millikan? How could this affect our perception of the balance of equality in schools and comfort levels between people? Excellent job on the article and its balance in not just evidence but understanding the different levels of the challenge in gender roles and how we fight for equality throughout the school.

  • D

    Dayanara ZamoraNov 29, 2023 at 9:16 am

    This article has a great statement on why there are only three girls in weightlifting. I also believe that most girls don’t join the class because it’s only filled with boys and barely any girls. This makes the girls out of their comfort zone to join. In order to fulfill this problem our school Millikan should have an all girls weightlifting class. I believe if we have that option a lot of girls would like to join. For example, I know some girls in the school soccer team that want to do weight training to get stronger but don’t really like the idea of having to go while it’s filled with people opposite of your gender. If Garci has a strong voice I believe she can make this happen.
    Arianna Garci has a great point of having weightlifting class for girls being a great addition to Millikan. She has stated that “Lifting weights has been proven to have many benefits like improved self confidence”, I truly believe that if I did weightlifting as a girl I would feel more better about myself overall and most likely others too. But there is a little problem as stated in the article “I always ask [girls] to join, but throughout the years the enrollment has lowered,’ said Schofield”, I think that girls don’t join because someone needs to start the lead. For example, a group of girls joining the class first, then as other girls realize that girls are joining then they would want to start to enroll in the class.

  • D

    Danyela BrilliantNov 29, 2023 at 9:09 am

    In Arianna Garcia’s article about weightlifting, she introduces the idea of having a weightlifting class but only for girls. She, and many others, feel that one of the main reasons why more girls don’t join the weightlifting classes that there are currently, is because there aren’t many girls and then they would be the minority in a class filled with boys. Some people she has asked have said that all those guys can make the girls feel uncomfortable, considering there is only one girl per class period right now in Mr. Schofield’s classes. Mr. Schofield, the weightlifting teacher, along with other things, has even said himself that he has talked to administration about getting an all girls weightlifting class, but they never had a follow up meeting about it. Ms. Mashburn, Millikan’s head counselor, has said that there are restrictions and reasons why this wouldn’t be optimal for right now or the near future, such as the process of asking and discussing to get a new class and determining if there is room in the schedules and if they can hire another teacher. These are some valid reasons, but then again they do seem like they have just been putting this off and not really loving the idea of getting this new class added. Garcia went around at lunch asking 50 girls if they would be interested in joining an all girls weightlifting class; the data she collected was that 56% said “yes”, 32% said “maybe”, and only 12% responded with “no”. This goes to show that these high school girls would be interested in taking an all girls weightlifting class without any boys so they can do their weightlifting comfortably and without worry.

  • A

    Allyson RichterNov 29, 2023 at 9:06 am

    On November 3, 2023, Arianna Garcia wrote the article “Power Pump Girls, Lets Make It Happen!” This opinion article brings up important topics that can provide insight as to why there are so few girls in the weightlifting class. Garcia’s use of student quotes from both girls and boys helps solidify her point that girls may feel uncomfortable in a male dominated weightlifting class and that an all-girls weightlifting class would be beneficial. Her use of numerous Millikan staff quotes also helps give her article more weight and standing. Garcia included quotes from the weightlifting teacher, the Millikan Head Counselor, and an assistant principal. These quotes show support for an all-girls weightlifting class, but clarify why it is difficult to start one. I think this article gives a good look at a universal experience women face. Even if they have not experienced harassment themselves, many women still feel unsafe in spaces such as a weightlifting area. Thank you Arianna for this article that sheds light on the experience.