The Squad comes to Somerville

Ella Wilczek, '25

This past Saturday, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez (NY), Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Rep. Cori Bush (MS) gathered together at the Somerville Theater for a panel conversation.

During the conversation, moderated by historian and writer Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, the representatives spoke on a number of issues important to them, including student debt relief, accessibility of clean water, and prison abolition.

Kendi is the founding director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University.

The five representatives comprise "the Squad" of a few allied members of the House of Representatives. All are women of color, most of them elected to office in 2018. The group has defined itself by its commitment to social justice.

At the event Pressley used the term expansively, saying, “Anybody doing work for a more equitable and just society is a member of the Squad.”

Those waiting in line before the event were confronted by protesters opposed to Pressley. The protesters spoke through megaphones and directly approached attendees, accusing both attendees and the representatives of racism. Many carried pro-Trump and anti-abortion signs.

Local music groups performed at the event. The artist Danny Rivera led a chorus in performing the song “Joy” in celebration of the idea that “another world is possible, one where your life is defined by joy and possibility, not trauma and hardship,” as put by Pressley in her opening speech. The artist Lux Villar also presented a poem and led a group in musical performances.

During the discussion, the representatives talked about how their lived experiences inform their policies and decision-making. Many brought up difficult and traumatic experiences. Ilhan Omar spoke about her experience of hunger as a child and its impact on her political action.

The representatives also spoke on the importance of intersectionality in shaping the world around us. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke about how systems such as capitalism and imperialism “seek to isolate us, to separate us, to make us feel alone and to flatten us into two-dimensional identities,” and the role this plays in the development of political progress.

Pressley added, “We are one human family, and our freedoms and our destinies are inextricably tied… What happens to one of us is the business of all of us.”

The event can be found on Ayanna Pressley’s Facebook at this link.

Fluff Fest makes a comeback

Ella Wilczek, '25

Every year, thousands of people head to Union Square to celebrate the invention of Fluff, the marshmallow creme first created in Somerville in the early 1900s. The 17th annual Somerville Fluff Festival was held Saturday, September 17, from 3 to 7 pm. This year's theme, “Fluff at First Sight: Back on Track,” celebrated a return to the event since before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. On its site, the festival listed its aims as “[to hit] the streets in its traditional festival format and scoop a spoonful of Somerville to help life’s absurdities go down.”

According to the company that produces it, Fluff was invented by Somerville resident Archibald Query in 1917, and the city continues to hold onto its link with the product. (Fluff is now made in Lynn.) The Fluff Festival has been held annually since 2006 and is led by community organization Union Square Main Streets.

The festival offered games including bowling and ring toss, as well as entertainment such as parkour. Vendors from businesses and organizations across Somerville were in attendance, including the Somerville High School music department and robotics team, the former selling peanut butter and Fluff sandwiches as a fundraiser.

According to our SHS band director, Timothy Moyer, "We sold out of our 1500 fluffernutters faster than anyone imagined thanks to the laudable efforts of our volunteers and the support from our Somerville neighbors buying the sandwiches."

Somerville High School student Michael Gomez-Calle, who attended the festival, described it as “a great day to see the Somerville community coming together after two years due to COVID-19, all for one reason, everyone’s love for Fluff.”

The Fashion Pages 2022-23

a weekly column by Jane Paradis, '23

For a while I’ve been noticing that Highlander News (formerly called The Piper), the newspaper you, the student, are currently reading, has been less active than it has been in previous years.

There have been many struggles to try to get people back into writing and reading actual newspapers. Alas, Covid swept the nation and restricted people’s access to clubs, and all sorts of other normal activities that we were previously used to…

Speaking of clubs, the club fair was last Wednesday, and the newspaper should totally make a comeback! I feel like staying informed about the school is important. So many clubs, oh so many clubs. But given that the title of this piece drew you in, I want to focus on a very special club (and the topic of that club) that took years to bring to fruition.

FASHION CLUB!!! You’ve heard it here folks. Fashion Club, thanks to our amazing advisor, Ms. Richard was re-established last year.

I know a lot of you have noticed that Somerville High School has been deprived of an outlet for those interested in fashion for a long time, given the circumstances previously mentioned. However, it’s making a comeback and I want to keep my viewers and readers up to date on styles, trends, and activities happening in our local (and not local) fashion world!

Fashion is an art, a lifestyle, and form of expression that my group of Fashion Club coordinators and I solemnly agree to help our audience to be as up to date as they can. Personally, it is a dream for me to be involved in any part of the fashion world whether it be styling, writing, photography, sewing, designing, and many more aspects of this amazing art. I’d love to share this part of the arts with our school community.

Until next time,

Fashion Club Gurus of SHS

Clubs in full swing

by Highlander News staff

On Wednesday, September 21, at 1:35, SHS held its annual club fair in the cafeteria. Nearly fifty clubs and activities were represented; there's something for everyone!

A student representative and the advisor for each group was present so interested students could get an idea of what the club/activity is about.

Students may still express interest in a club anytime before 9/30 by filling out this Google Form. After 9/30, students may visit the club/activity on a meeting day or email the advisor(s). Full information about each group is here in the club booklet or scan the code to the left.

Get involved!