The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

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DEIB Column: Womens Affinity

Women’s Affinity (VIA POLYGLOT STAFF)

Women’s Affinity led an assembly about coeducation at Poly on March 12. The assembly included an interview with a Poly alum from the first coeducational graduating class in 1979, Beth Bonina. Bonina, a successful New York City judge, shared that she believes transferring to Poly from an all-girls school changed her life for the better. 

During the assembly, the affinity group strayed away from a traditional slideshow presentation, showing the interview over Zoom in the Chapel after a brief history lesson on the process of Poly becoming co-ed and the controversy surrounding the decision. After the video, the affinity group continued their annual tradition of concluding the assembly with trivia. The leaders split up roles, where each person was in charge of a different task. The assembly required lots of brainstorming and planning, starting in January, including reading through archives, coming up with questions to ask Bonina, contacting her, interviewing her, editing the video, and organizing the trivia. 

When debating what topic the Women’s Affinity wanted to present, the student leaders said options included women in sports, women in the music industry, and coeducation at Poly. Student co-leader of Women’s Affinity, Elena Piquet ’24, said they decided “to do something more relevant to the school and less general pop culture.” Also, Women’s Affinity had already spent lots of the year discussing the other two topics. For example, they spent an entire DEIB block discussing “Battle of the Sexes” and other periods discussing the Grammys, Oscars, and Taylor Swift. The group also spent time talking about the “Barbie” movie. 

Once the topic was chosen, the leaders found archives from before and during Poly’s transition to becoming a co-ed school, including yearbooks and newspapers. The leaders presented these archives to all of Women’s Affinity, and they researched in their groups, compiling information to add to the slideshow presentation. Another student leader of Women’s Affinity, Zoë Campbell ’25, shared an interesting fact that she learned from the archives:“Before girls were at the school they actually had activism groups that talked about abortion rights for women.” Campbell was surprised and impressed that men at Poly were coming together to speak about women’s rights. 

The process to plan the interview with Bonina was more complicated than one might think. Piquet said the Polygon inspired Women’s Affinity to contact an alumni for their presentation after reading senior Jess Dosik’s article from last year called “A Look Back on When Poly Became Co-Ed.” Dosik contacted and interviewed Bonina for her article. 


Piquet was responsible for contacting Bonina since she is a Gray Key Ambassador, a student volunteer position that works with alumni. All six of the Women’s Affinity student leaders came up with the questions for the interview together, but Piquet conducted the interview. Piquet believes editing the video was the most challenging task because she had to decide what parts of the conversation she wanted to include. Campbell added that Bonina was “really willing” to participate in the assembly and was “awesome” to work with.  

After completing the assembly, Women’s Affinity returned to their usual discussions, playing games, and watching videos during the DEIB block. Piquet mentioned that they are planning to talk about the recent Roe v. Wade development. Since there are six leaders, two leaders are responsible for developing a topic, lesson, or presentation for the block. For example, earlier in the year, Campbell presented and led a conversation about Native American women. 

Both Piquet and Campbell said they love being a part of Women’s Affinity. “The best part is being able to relate to my female peers,” said Campbell. According to Piquet, Women’s Affinity is a space with no judgment, where everyone feels open and comfortable. 

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