Morton, Moser represent push for inclusion of female leaders in Black Hole
Hannah Libby | Staff Writer
The Mason Black Hole Leaders, a group known for its fiery representation of school spirit, has been leaving a section of the Comets in the dark.
A few Mason senior girls have made their voices heard following the selection of the 2019-2020 all-male Black Hole leaders this past month. They believe there has been a pattern of 5 male leaders picking only male replacements, this tradition, they say leaves no room for female leaders to join.
Senior Bethany Moser is one of the girls frustrated by the continued tradition of the all-male spirit leaders. Moser says she’s a frequent attendee at the Mason girls’ and guys’ athletic events, and she wishes that she could sit in the front row at all sporting events to cheer her heart out.
“A lot of the guys are uncomfortable with going to certain female sporting events,” Moser said. “For instance, last year I went to every girl’s volleyball game, and not only did the boys not attend often, but when they did, they sat in the back.”
Even though Moser supports the current leaders’ variety of attendances so far, she believes that her peers would be much more likely to attend a variety of events and get rowdy if they felt like they were better represented in the front row.
“It would make a lot more sense if there was a girl that was representing the [Black Hole] at the events the guys can’t make or feel uncomfortable going to,” Moser said. “Those girls want people cheering in the front row too.”
Senior Reagan Morton, another constant female presence at the Comet’s sporting events, had a similar perspective but questioned the value of her and Moser’s personal impact on the future.
“I feel like it’s been so hard for girls to infiltrate the leaders,” Morton said. “It shouldn’t have to be a burden. And it sucks but we’re seniors and we’ll be gone in a year, so yeah it’s frustrating, but I feel like there’s not much we can do as of right now.”
Moser and Morton both were interested in joining the leadership section and said their frustration has grown as they have attempted to become a catalyst for girls wanting to be a part of this section in the future.
“There shouldn’t even be a conversation about it,” Moser said. “That’s what upsets me the most, that we have to approach this issue at all.”
Assistant Principal Amy Hull believes a lot more can be accomplished if students speak up and has shown her support in the past when the rejected girls made a twitter page dedicated to their pursuit of comet spirit.
“Even though they are not an official club or activity,” Hull said, “I don’t disagree that it should and could be looked at this time.”
Ms. Hull also explained the tradition is that the former leaders pick five senior replacements every year. Senior Mason Black Hole leader Ben Damge clarified that to his knowledge there wasn’t any gender bias guiding the decisions for this year’s leaders from the former leaders or the current ones.
“The leaders last year picked Max Bird and me and allowed him to pick some other people they thought would be great leaders,’’ Damge said. “It wasn’t us trying to exclude anyone, we just picked the people we thought would be hype.”
Senior Black Hole leader Max Bird described his game plan for picking leaders next year and tried to emphasize the importance of reliability with leaders. As an athlete himself, he knows what he likes to see in a crowd.
“This year [we’re] just looking for juniors that come to all the games and are really involved in cheering,” Bird said.“[We’ll] pick people who are really passionate about the games, girl or guy.”
Hull has shown her support of guys and girls aspiring to be Mason Black Hole leaders in the future. She hopes students will step up and make themselves heard if this is something they feel passionate about.
“I support the [Black Hole] leaders and think they do a wonderful job every year,” Hull said.“But if this is something students feel strongly
Photo by Riley Johansen.