Stop Snubbing Spirit Week
By Paige Ordway--Eagle Staff Writer
For as long as it’s existed on campus, Spirit Week has been a time for the school community to come together by dressing up, taking pictures, and having fun. However, instead of Spirit Week being a cheerful time, it has become a topic of much controversy, sprouting disapproval in students and even parents.
The Spirit Club, led by Marsha Lopez, teacher and cheer coach, creates the spirit weeks through their own ideas, but mainly by listening to recommendations from other students in the school. They believe spirit weeks are a time for students and staff to express themselves through numerous themes that bring everyone together.
“I think spirit weeks build so much morale and they also make us more cohesive and put us all sort of on the same page whereas in the pep rallies we have class competitions and the classes are a little bit against each other but during spirit week we get to all just be together and enjoy it and have fun together,” shared Lopez.
Traditional spirit week themes include Country Camo and Red and White days. They’re viewed as both a classic, and more recently, something overused.
“People just want to try new things and I totally understand that, but there's also something to be said about tradition,” Lopez stated. “We always do country camo and red and white during Homecoming spirit weeks because like I said they're tradition and they go way back. We've done them for the 24 years that I've been here. Sometimes some students will participate in no other spirit days but participate in country camo because everybody in Franklin County has some country gear or some camo gear. We just try to have a balance between the new more modern things and some of our traditions we like to keep.”
As many students will recall, there have been a couple of times when one or two people weren’t happy with the spirit schedule and decided to change the themes, destroying the effort spirit club members and Lopez have put in to get the themes approved. Once themes are picked by the cheerleaders and spirit club these ideas are sent to Mr.Crutchfield for further approval. Because of the work being put into getting themes approved, having students argue about the themes adds more chaos to the process.
These students even took their disapproval to the extent of creating an entirely new spirit week, which some Eagles participated in instead. Obviously, the backlash Lopez and her students have faced hasn’t given the group much spirit.
“It makes me sad because I want the spirit weeks to bring us together, and that one instance this year was dividing us quite a bit and that's not the purpose of the spirit weeks and we want to hear people's ideas and we wanna have creative ideas and have some new things,” Lopez explained.
Everyone understands that students want their voices to be heard, and it’s clear that expressing one’s thoughts is the only way change can be made, but there are better ways to have your ideas brought to light.
“We need new ideas and we want people… to get involved [and] come to the spirit club meetings or just to talk to me, one of the spirit club members, or one of the cheerleaders with their ideas,” Lopez encouraged. “I've had students email me a list of ‘what about this, this, this, [or] this’ and we will talk about them at the spirit club meetings. Please do send your ideas.”
As a student who loves to dress up and participate, coming to school to see students complaining and going by their own schedules ruins the excitement of my week, despite the costumes I wear and the smiling, spirited faces I do see. These spirited weeks are supposed to uplift people and bring us closer together.
Spirit weeks should make school a place students are excited to go to. Students should feel like they can share their interests, creativity, and opinions , as well as being heard. This can be accomplished by dressing up as one’s favorite movie character or traveling back in time during spirit week, as these forms of expression are completely positive.
For those who don’t agree with spirit week themes, there’s always the choice of not dressing up. Ruining this week of fun for everyone else makes an impact on school spirit and can result in our privileges, like spirit weeks and even pep rallies, being taken away.
In the end, there are much bigger issues to be concerned with on campus. Spirit week is only five consecutive days sprinkled a few times into 180 days of school. We only have a short bit of time at Franklin County High School, so why not get into the spirit?