Student Spotlight: Hal Schrieve

 After two years of frustration, new Running Start student, Hal Schrieve begins school in the hope that SPSCC will provide a more realistic transition into adulthood. “I felt as if I deserved more autonomy within my own education,” said Schrieve.

Schrieve’s decision to participate in Running Start spawned, in part, from previous conflict with his high school. According to Schrieve, in a notoriously prejudice environment, Schrieve’s freshman and sophomore year were fraught with unexpected issues.

“The staff was sometimes openly hostile towards me. I am transgender, and though laws in the State of Washington forbid the discrimination against citizens on the basis of gender identity, the school did not permit me to use the male bathroom for much of my sophomore year,” said Schrieve.

According to Schrieve, instead of striving to create a more accepting school, school authorities denied him this right after a complaint from another student. Though he proceeded to file a formal complaint, school administrators refused to allow Schrieve to use the male bathroom until his gender was legally changed.

This incident, among others, acted as a catalyst to Schrieve’s decision; he hopes that at the college, administrators will be, at least, less “invested in keeping [him] out of places,” if not generally more opened minded.

Schrieve also finished tenth grade unsatisfied with the required curriculum, which he described as “sometimes lacking practical content.” Attempting to regain control of his own education, Schrieve intends to schedule his own classes and ultimately earn a two year associates degree.

For his first quarter, Schrieve is taking French, Political Science, and Statistics. If all goes according to plan, these credits will culminate in either an International and Intercultural Studies or Anthropology degree, he said. After college, Schrieve intends to work as an artist or educator.

Outside of the classroom, Schrieve’s extracurricular schedule is remarkably extensive. Taking saxophone and karate lessons during the week, participating in both activities since elementary school, Schrieve does not neglect any aspect of adolescent life.

Though Schrieve is not continuing with course work at his high school, his previous experience with drama, acting, designing, writing and directing, has sparked interest in a campus-based creative outlet, the college’s theater program.

Similarly, his participation in Olympia’s queer youth events such as this year’s Pride Parade, corresponds with Schrieve’s new desire to become involved with clubs on campus. Schrieve is considering getting involved in the Queer Straight Alliance club.

With both a more specific approach to his education and many prospective ideas to become involved at his new school, Schrieve begins his first year at college with a positive outlook, “I’m excited to start in a new school. I just hope I do well!”