A sense of community defines the DECATS experience

All of DECATS: students, teachers and advisors alike, agree that there’s a unique connection between us all. The connection has been described as “a celebration of mutual learning”, “a fellowship of common interests” and “chill” by various students and faculty. No matter who you ask, everyone agrees on one thing: DECATS creates a singular experience for every individual.

At DECATS, the best and brightest have joined together ready to act, adding a special atmosphere and spirit to everything.  It is that spirit that has brought advisors and teachers back for years. It also seems to be such teachers and spirit that bring students back with them. Two Mock Trial students said DECATS was full of “relaxed advisors, who would help you without judging,” and compared them to regular teachers saying, “they [the DECATS staff] are nicer and more carefree and laugh more.”

A contributing factor to the comradery between students and advisors lies within DECATS core values, which encourage expressions of community and acceptance. A Psychology student said, “Its [DECATS] not strict, they let everyone be who they are. It’s one of a kind.” Another great example of the DECATS community spirit was said by Psychology teacher Laura, “It’s about mutual respect without authority, so it’s mutual, but I don’t have to get into rules. It’s a very give-take learning experience. My mind is blown by some of the things my students come up with.”

All of DECATS relies on other parts of itself. The teachers look for the students for inspiration just as the students look at the teachers for affirmation. No one part is bigger than another no person below anyone else. That equality creates the fun situations that DECATS students experience daily. Situation, like being able to sit and laugh with your teachers before the Drama show and creating special bonds with pod leaders and G.A.’s are only possible by welcoming that sense of community that DECATS strives for.

One teacher supplied a very interesting, but very true quote for DECATS participants specifically, “The day you stop learning is the day you die.” Within DECATS, every person strives to keep moving forwards, whether it be to make sure future students enjoy it as much as they did or to strengthen their own knowledge. Such a place seems almost impossible. A utopia where everyone wants to be there, are interested in truly learning and, most importantly, are open to new ideas. Only here are people allowed to truly explore and experience what the world can offer. Only together, as one whole community of peers, is that dream a reality.

Written by: Elena G., Reporter

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