Home Base: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Emma Ludgin

Home Base: a student-run, 15-20 minute Teams meeting, in which students can express similarities, differences, and thoughts in a covid-friendly way which has sparked controversy in the Wilson community. While Home Base is a good way to feel connected to the school, I don’t see myself making lasting connections there as it doesn’t feel natural.

Taking place every Tuesday between first and second period, Home Base was officiated by the Student Government Association (SGA) in an effort to connect Wilson Tigers during these unprecedented times. This time is designed to “build a community in this online school environment and stay connected to Wilson,” according to Wilson’s official website. Announcements and important information are also shared during these gatherings. 

While this new and unique platform could be beneficial to freshman or newcomers at Wilson High, some express concerns. Freshman Jannat Dbilij says Home Base feels like “forced socialization,” and that students aren’t able to connect through the screen, making it extremely difficult and frustrating. However, she “appreciates that the school is mindful of how us students feel and is trying to take a step up to help us connect and bond.” 

Furthermore, I am among multiple students who are concerned that the channels are too full, and that many scholars won’t have the time to share out their responses. This issue must be creatively improved on instantly.

Then there’s the inevitable technological awkwardness that we all know and hate. Students don’t have their camera on, which is an additional barrier. Moreover, some students, including myself the first time, couldn’t even enter the meeting as they were not added to a team, which was quite frustrating.

To improve this, advisors are obliged to encourage students to turn their cameras on, or participate more, which was not evident in my Home Base meeting. Additionally, channels should be smaller, which would allow students to have more one-on-one time with others, creating an area for a connection to form. While there are undeniable weaknesses, this program is still in its early stages.

Despite the frustration some may feel about not getting the opportunity to talk to their peers during this time, there are positive aspects to the Home-Base experience. You can become familiar with some teachers or upperclassmen you haven’t met yet, as well as get updates on the Wilson community. 

Personally, I believe Home Base is a complimentary idea, and although it may not be 100% effective, I congratulate the members of SGA on their effort.