Face Off held October 31, November 7

Students+embrace+AP+history+teacher+Mr.+Balmanno+during+last+year%27s+face+off.
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Face Off held October 31, November 7

Students embrace AP history teacher Mr. Balmanno during last year's face off.

Students embrace AP history teacher Mr. Balmanno during last year's face off.

Image courtesy of yearbook

Students embrace AP history teacher Mr. Balmanno during last year's face off.

Image courtesy of yearbook

Image courtesy of yearbook

Students embrace AP history teacher Mr. Balmanno during last year's face off.

Emma Roberts, Staff Writer

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Face Off is an annual event where students are invited to interact with each other, break barriers and build bonds. This year, it will be held on October 31 and November 8 in the East gym during school hours. Peer counselors host the entire event and participating students must be invited by a teacher or a student in Peer Counseling. East Peer Counseling teacher and Face Off adviser Stefani Hard stresses that despite common misconceptions, the event isn’t about counseling students with emotional problems, but an attempt to bring a broad spectrum of students together to recognize their commonalities.

Though students participate in this full-day event by invitation only, any student wanting to participate in Face Off can contact a teacher and asked to be invited to the event.

Hard explains the event begins with  “large group games where everybody participates,” in order to familiarize participants with the purpose and become more comfortable with each other.  Afterwards, everyone forms smaller groups and engages on a more personal level. Hard says that students who participate in this event should learn that “other people are the same as them in a lot of different ways. They may outwardly look different, but inwardly we’re going through a lot of the same struggles.”

East Peer Counseling leader and senior Matthew Mccallough simply sums up the purpose of Face Off as, “New opportunities to meet a lot of new people and become more open.” He says the purpose of the event is to encourage students to truly face each other, start authentic conversations and form real connections.

Junior and East Peer Counseling leader Alejandra Romero explains that the preparation of newcomers to Peer Counseling for Face Off takes place over weeks while incoming counselors learn all the activities, strategies and timing for the event. Along with weeks of practice for the actual event, the Peer Counselors must be familiarized with each other so that they can collaborate effectively and ensure Face Off runs smoothly.

Peer Counseling leaders confirm the stigma that represents students who participate in Face Off as emotionally troubled is not true. Peer counseling leader and Junior at East campus Adrianna Bourbon states, “Face Off isn’t just for the kids who are bad and don’t belong, it’s for everyone.”