Written by: Audrey Perdue
On this year’s week of Warrior Fest, January 29th to February 2nd, the student council put on an assembly every morning. They were short, simplistic, not too overstimulating for 7:30 a.m.
It was the usual bit; the fashion show, the class competition and a few short announcements. Friday was the only day we held class chants.
It’s pretty common knowledge that freshmen never win class chants. However, that Friday in particular, they were near inaudible. Amanda Goering, English and journalism teacher, stated she was right next to them and couldn’t even hear them herself.
Something is missing. Something about the pep assemblies isn’t doing what they’re supposed to do, which is unite the school. Is it the assemblies themselves? Is it maybe just our mob mindset that enjoying yourself at school is embarrassing and worthy of ridicule?
Both are probable answers, and both play a role in the problem.
Our assemblies deserve praise where praise is earned. They’re consistently organized the same way, and many students appreciate the choice Student Council made this year to allow them to decide for themselves whether or not they want to take part in class competitions. They don’t ask much of us beyond a few minutes of their attention. Not many grievances could stem from that.
There are, nonetheless, things that could be improved. One of the most prominent issues are certain class competition games.
It should go without saying that any games that could possibly instigate sexual tension and/or discomfort should never be held. This seems obvious, but here we are.
It brings to question whether or not the Student Council even realizes how bizarre and wrong this is. One of the best (worst?) examples of this is a competition from last school year, in which boy-girl pairs were given a plate of plexiglass covered in peanut butter and other foods and were made to lick them off on their respective side.
Other examples include the “caterpillar” game, “suck & blow,” and asking inappropriate questions in questionnaires (e.g. asking court warming candidates who of their friends they think their partner would find the most attractive).
This wasn’t a class competition or in an assembly, but on Super Testing Day this year, students were brought to the football field and subsequently instructed to link arms between their legs and sit on each other’s laps in a circle of the full student body.
There’s a difference between getting people to step out of their comfort zones and making them genuinely embarrassed and uneasy. Students should only be taken out of said comfort zone if it will undoubtedly make them happier and more open as a person. It should never be for the amusement of a crowd.
The class competitions shouldn’t go away altogether, though. In fact, here’s an idea; hold more full-class competitions. Every once in a while, incorporate entire classes for games, like the weird tortilla throwing game earlier this year. It was odd and unexpected, but because of that, it was memorable. Those are the kind of events that bring people together.
In the defense of the student council, there’s only so much they can do in their 20 minutes. It’s difficult to come up with unique and interesting ideas for 5 days in a row. Also, despite their ridiculous number of members, it’s said that only a select few really get involved, so many members continue to do the same job over and over. This makes it hard to be creative with so much on their plate.
After all, it’s not entirely their fault that our school pride isn’t as widespread as it could be.
In our student culture, there’s no denying there’s a stigma around school pride. Most everyone is guilty of negativity when we discuss classes, events, etc. We often bond over this negativity because we relate to it. School is difficult and stressful and for many it can be a rather miserable experience, whether it’s due to classwork stress, depression, executive dysfunction, anxiety, personal problems, a combination of these and more. These issues can make it near impossible to find the good in coming to school in the morning.
Students deserve to have something to look forward to every day as they deal with growing up, and school can and should be that something. That being said, not everyone is blessed with the natural confidence to “fit in” automatically. That’s what makes school spirit such a wonderful phenomenon. It makes us feel like a part of something, and that opens the door to confidence, self-esteem, and overall happiness.
To achieve that, students have to challenge themselves. This can be through joining a club or group that they can be proud of, even if that means starting one of their own. With all the organizations our school hosts, there has to be something that they can be dedicated to. The first step to school pride is being involved with even just one part of our community.
Students have to stop worrying about how others see them and make the most of our time here. At the assemblies, cheer for your class and participate in the games. High school is a far more enjoyable experience once you realize that you don’t have anyone to impress. Everyone else is just doing their best, too.
Even little things can make a difference in our student culture, like smiling when you make eye contact with someone in the hall. Try to be a part of the positive change we need and then we’ll really have something to be proud of.
Be proud, Warriors.