School Spirit in the Senior High: Has it Lost its Luster?

A few weeks ago, Cub staff went around each day of Spirit Week trying to find participating students to photograph. But students enthusiastically dressed for ‘Merica Monday, College T-shirt day, Jersey Day, or Hawaiian Day were few and far between.

 

Each year, the Student Council tries to incorporate fun new ways to get everyone’s spirits flying high – but to no avail. As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” The lack of participation during Spirit Week is just one of the many signs that spirit seems to be declining at BASH. School spirit is gone, thanks in part to an influx of rules governed by political correctness, student apathy, and not enough class spirit or enough organized events, such as pep rallies.

 

Gone are the days when students were excited to participate in Spirit Week. Because of extreme regulations and harsh criticism, it has essentially died. Student council members say they have a hard time coming up with fun Spirit Days that students would actually participate in because they fear administration would not allow a lot of ideas. Pajama Day might cause students to come to school in lingerie or boxers. Gender Bender Day might spur cross-dressing. Nerd Day might be offensive to smart people. And a White-Out or Black-Out might be considered racist.

 

But students are as much to blame as administrators. Students lack creativity on Spirit Days, and those who do try to be creative feel ostracized. One student who wore flag shorts on ‘Merica Monday said he changed them after first period because people made fun of him.

 

Other students say they do not participate in Spirit Week because it revolves solely around athletics and does not celebrate other parts of the school. A solution to that might be holding creative activities that foster spirit among individual classes. Pottsgrove High School, which seems to have infinite amounts of energy, has Color Day each year. Each grade has a color and a catchy slogan and competes against each other; all students enjoy participating.

 

The one all-school spirit activity BASH does have is a single pep rally, but it is not run well. Not enough time is allotted for it, and occasionally there are technical difficulties with music. Also, since it’s only once a year, only fall sports are celebrated. Students leave early if they are able to or say they would rather “hang out in the bathroom”. We need three pep rallies a year, one for each season of sports. They also should be longer, and celebrate academic or club achievement as well as sports achievement.

 

Deep down, we all want to love our high school. It’s difficult to love a brick building, though.  Students should be buzzing about the games, spirit weeks, pep rallies, and band. They need to crawl out of their phones and other electronics, and actually make an effort to support each other. The Bear Den has made some terrific headway by becoming involved in social media and generating greater student turn-out at the games, but that kind of spirit needs to grow.

 

Students, ask not what your high school can do for you, but what you can do to get your peers excited about your high school!

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