Fall Spirit Week: The Fallout and What It Tells Us About School Spirit
Cover photo credit: Ashley Tweddle, Alexandria Shaw and Sophia Priatka
In the midst of one of the worst pandemics since the Spanish Flu over one hundred years ago, the GHS staff attempted to lift the spirits of students with GHS Spirit Week, the week of October 26, which included two spirit days and two senior dress-up days (one for each cohort). Even with the intention of continuing a school year like normal in mind, students went into Spirit Week as they would any other week. Many students believe the most recent spirit week was a total failure, simply due to the fact that they didn’t know that it was happening in the first place.
When asked about her thoughts on how our first hybrid learning spirit week had gone, Kate Marchetti ‘23 said, “When was spirit week?” Students like Marchetti seemed to be completely oblivious to the fact that anything other than a normal school week was happening.
Even seniors, who historically are very involved in school-wide events, seemed uninspired. Senior Dress-Up Day used to be one of the most anticipated events in the past.
Jack Wallis ‘21, said he “didn’t know [Spirit Week] was happening until it was over.” By the time students had gotten the message that there was something happening that week, it was too late.
Another senior, Maggie Wardell ‘21, said she feels that Spirit Week was “so fast and not promoted enough.” With some more promotion that is started earlier, it is possible that Spirit Week could have been much more positively received by GHS students.
Because of hybrid learning at GHS, there were actually two senior dress-up days and school spirit days, one for each cohort, which confused some students.
Wardell said that she was left wondering about the specifics of Spirit Week, saying “What were the other days besides Dress-up Day?” If it had been any other year, most students would have had clear answers to these questions. They would have been able to simply look at signs in the Student Center or hear them constantly talked about on the loudspeaker in the weeks leading up to Spirit Week. However, because many students are online, they couldn’t hear the morning announcements and didn’t know that there was a spirit week even happening.
Some students think that a hybrid spirit week is still a possibility.
Charlie Adorney ‘22 said that he thinks “incentivizing [Spirit Week] and advertising it a little more probably would’ve made it a more unifying experience,” showing that some see potential in a spirit week to be a unifying factor in these trying times. Adorney went on to mention that such a struggle is fair due to obvious shortcomings, such as the “school literally being divided in half.”
Despite some shortcomings with how information was distributed to students, a spirit week was held at GHS, just like it is held every year. Hopefully, if such problems posed by the pandemic continue, this will be a learning experience for everyone, a chance to understand exactly how to best reach the students of GHS and keep them informed on what is happening at the school, from serious news to the possibility of lighthearted fun that is usually Spirit Week.