The Student News Site of East Lansing High School


The Student News Site of East Lansing High School


The Student News Site of East Lansing High School


Student advocacy club creates new podcast centered around student stories

On Feb. 29, the ELHS MSAN club released the first episode of their podcast, The Humanization station. The episode covers race and how it has impacted students’ educational experience, along with hair, language and social media.

MSAN, which stands for, Multicultural Student Achievement Network, is an extra-curricular organization that strives to bring awareness to some of the disparities that impact students of color, and encourages members to come up with action plans on how to combat them. MSAN isn’t the average ‘club rush’ club, as anyone who wants to do it must go through an application process before becoming a member. 

Out of the 23 applicants from last year, only 8 ended up being accepted, one of which Amear Ahmed (9), a co-host of the first podcast episode. Ahmed first heard about MSAN last year during a presentation held at Macdonald Middle School. His interest was immediately piqued, and he decided to apply.

“I felt like I had good opinions to tell them so I signed up for it,” Ahmed said. 

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For Ahmed, MSAN is about helping students feel more comfortable in their school environment. He aims to spread awareness of the club in hopes of more students joining as he feels like it isn’t as well known as other clubs in the school. 

This goal is what inspired Ahmed and fellow MSAN member Rainia Dijagah (9) to create a podcast. When the two attended an MSAN conference in Wisconsin last November, they came up with the idea for the podcast as a way to get the word out about their goals.

“We were talking about ways to get a better word out and connect with like teenagers more, and the podcast was a good idea for it because I assumed people wouldn’t want to read about it,” Ahmed said. 

One of the students who Ahmed and Dijagah interviewed for their episode was Joy Deng (10), a first year member of Student Council. On the podcast, she talked about her experience joining the group and how she originally felt nervous to join  because it didn’t have many people of color and she didn’t want to be judged. Luckily, this wasn’t the case, as Deng said everyone was extremely kind and she was quickly able to make friends. 

Deng didn’t know about MSAN until she was interviewed for the podcast. She thinks the podcast is a great idea as it will help MSAN to engage with a wider range of students.

“[I think] that it will give the students a lot of different ways to learn about the injustices that minority groups can face in their everyday life. It’s something new so I think it will allow [MSAN] to connect with more students,” Deng said.

Plus, Deng, who’s first language is Chinese, saw her interview as a good opportunity to practice her English skills. 

The club and podcast aren’t just about connecting with students, but also with staff, said club advisor and Spanish teacher Diana Sanchez, who hopes to do a future episode on the responsibility placed on people in the school that doesn’t consider their outside lives. 

“Whether it’s homework for you or grading for us, right, there are things that go beyond that, that take up a lot of our time and [it’s important] to humanize those experiences,” Sanchez said. 

The next podcast episode is focused on gender and will be hosted by MSAN members Charli Collison (10) and Chloe Vickers (10). The episode was recorded last week, and is set to be released in early April.

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