Sion-STA rivalry is counterproductive to female empowerment

The rivalry should be cultivated to better our opposing schools.


by Mackenzie O'Guin, Design Editor

Hundreds of girls tug groggily at their uniforms on a gray December Monday, backpacks hanging lazily off shoulders. Freezing hands clutch notebooks or coffee cups in the desperate hallway rush, attempting to merely to get to classes before the bell. Amid the frenzy arises recollections of the past weekend’s antics, anxieties of impending finals. Teachers carefully formulate a curriculum specifically tailored to producing independent, college-bound young women. Thus is the typical day at local all girls school Notre Dame de Sion.

The prior description might have conjured images of a typical day here at STA. This is by no coincidence. Though Sion and STA pride themselves on definitive structural and foundational differences, the two Kansas City all-girls institutions share a common goal: empowering and educating young women. With such an important uniting principle, why do our schools expend so much energy tearing one another apart?

Don’t mistake me– I love the rivalry. I sport my old “Stars versus Storm” t-shirt with pride. After all, what is high school (or, moreover, high school sports) without a despised competitor? Every year, I treasure the sacred art of smearing warpaint across my face before the infamous STA-Sion games.

A rivalry is a healthy, constructive competition easily utilized to better the opposing parties by critical comparison, yet it seems that the STA-Sion rivalry has evolved into yet another venue to pit young women against one another. Both schools are more willing to support the local all-boys school Rockhurst than they are each other. This is not to say we shouldn’t support Rockhurst, but it definitely strikes me as odd that we are more likely to support and advertise Rockhurst (how many of you own/wear a Rockhurst shirt regularly?) than we are a like-minded high school. 

Both STA and Sion are lauded educational establishments, given some stylistic differences, with much to be learned from one another. We should be challenging one another to succeed, rather than damning one another to failure. Though humbling, students from both STA and Sion should attempt to recognize what our opponents are doing, and how we can grow from it. It is our duty as STA students to initiate this, because the sisterhood shouldn’t be an exclusive clique that stops at Donnelly Hall–it should be inclusive and beneficial to all young women, even those wearing purple.