A Project for Better Journalism chapter

We’ve got spirit! Wait, do we?

Throughout a students’ school career, school spirit doesn’t really promote itself until high school. Here at Parkdale, many complain about the lack of school spirit without taking in account their surroundings. Everyone wonders why the school doesn’t partake in more activities or why our activities are always shut down. But when examining this issue, perspective is key.

Homecoming is a student favorite.  It is the best time for students of all grades to come out, have fun, and show their spirit to the max. This year’s Homecoming Week consisted of dress down days such as: Wacky Tacky Day, Villain vs. Superhero Day, Class Color Day, Senior Citizen Day, and finally Green and Gold Day.

Although many students showed some form of spirit throughout Homecoming Week,  it was seemingly pushed away once the week ended.

The ups and downs of school spirit, however, seem to solely depend on the people promoting it.

“The school spirit fluctuates in terms of how people celebrate themselves,” said twelfth grade English teacher and Student Government Association (SGA) advisor Mr. Adams. “Some are more vocal, while others are more subdued.”

Many Parkdale students do not feel they fit into all the celebration or find these activities as ‘lame’ or how many refer to as ‘champ’. When students have this mindset, it decreases their motivation to go out and have fun at school-related activities.

Another issue is the abundance of cancellations when it comes to activities.

“Activities get cancelled for a myriad of reasons. Most of the time it is because of lack of pre-sales which is often the result of lack luster promotions,” said Mr. Adams. “This is a microcosm.  In order to increase participation, you must sell your activities and you, yourself, must participate.”

While Mr. Adams feels the responsibility of school spirit falls greatly on the students, students have a different outlook.

“Administration hates everything!” said senior Karen Nwaogbe. “You can ask the SGA members, they turn down everything that has to do with stepping outside the building or having fun.”

Although at this point, seniors may just be excited for prom and graduation, Parkdale school spirit could be saved by the energy and excitement of the underclassmen.

“This year the freshman class has surprisingly good spirit.” said Adams. “[And] the sophomore class creates and participates a lot.”

It’s not only the seniors feeling the lack of spirit, but also freshman class President Kamari Willis sometimes has trouble getting her class involved, as well.

“I don’t think the school has much school spirit; little to none for that matter,” said Willis. “School spirit to me means that we don’t come to school just to be here for eight hours, but we come to have fun as well.”

Willis sees the lack of school spirit being attributed to a number of factors, including communication and students’ critical opinions.

“I feel my class doesn’t have much school spirit because they think everything’s ‘champ,'” said Willis. “A lot of school activities are cancelled because they aren’t well organized and communication usually lacks between the students planning it and the administrators. When activities do get cancelled students usually lose spirit because they don’t believe that they’ll happen so, they’d rather not go to an event out of the fear that it’ll get cancelled.” 

School spirit comes with exposure to activities, and the less a school presents, the less motivated students are to participate.

If the school would allow a little more leeway for students to express themselves, then more people would come out to events. But students themselves also need to become more open-minded to see that the events that actually do followthrough can be an amazing opportunity of enjoyment and not “champ.”