By Marcela Homsany, Staff Writer
Cliques. Cliques are small, exclusive groups of individuals who form a close bond due to shared interest, values, social, economic, or even ethnic background. These bonds are continuously shifting throughout a person’s lifespan through circumstances or happenstance. In this stage of our young adult lives, we are faced with the questions of who we are, who we want to be, and who we should surround ourselves with. However, most of the student body at YU come from small Jewish schools that spoonfed the answers to these pressing questions since childhood.
Now, Stern is not much of an exception, as most girls funnel through the typical seminary to Stern vessel. Upon my observations, this pipeline creates a sort of cookie cutter personality and clique formation that bases around where you went for a gap year or high school. In other words, by nature Jewish institutions create a breeding ground for cliques that transfer into adulthood, limiting the possibilities of social exploration.
That being said, coming from a secular school myself, the dynamics of the social hierarchy at Stern is fascinating, but predictable. Naturally, most individuals stick to those most familiar to them ethnically, religiously, or community wise.
But the issues lie within the unspoken judgment towards one another; the sense of superiority by each respective group for their religious or ethnic differences that divide us as a student body heavily.
Now, to give credit where it’s due, the judgment and lack of respect for one another has improved from my first year on campus, Fall of 2021. Maybe, it’s because I have made for what I hope is a friendly name for myself within the school, but when I first arrived on campus, it seemed to be a general consensus that the biggest sin known to man was wearing leggings or speaking to my friend in a language other than english in the elevator- reinforcing the divides and resentment each girl preemptively held towards each other.
While I can easily turn this article into somewhat of a Dvar Torah, a religious commentary about the treatment of your fellow neighbor that needs to be revolted and condemned in the name Elul, or more importantly, the Jewish people as a whole, but for the sake of this article, the student body, and this natural occurrence within human nature across the board, I will leave this article with one thing; a dare. Here, at Stern College for Women we are told that compassion is the basis for our success as an individual, yet the only things we seem to unite upon are the outrageous Caf prices and elevator situation; but can we, as a student body, find a common ground within each other beyond our physical appearance, ethnicity, or spiritual levels? I challenge you to find out.