Dressing up, Hallway Decorating, and Pep Rally are all activities Woodland students look forward to in November. While this year started off no different than in the past, things quickly began to change for the students as this special November week began.
Each year Woodland’s Student Council hosts “Spirit Week”. A time when the student body comes together in friendly competition to celebrate the end of the fall sports. Grades compete against each other for points in a number of different categories and whichever grade receives the most points at the end of the week is given the Spirit Shovel.
For the first time, the week began with a new event- Color Wars. Each grade was assigned a color and received points based on the number of students that were representing their grade’s color.
The first problem of the week arose on this day however, when the freshmen class had decorated their hallway with their color, red. In order to intimidate the freshmen, some of the upper class-men ran through the hallway tearing down the decorations that the class had worked so hard on putting up.
This resulted in the first suspensions of spirit week, but not the last. Throughout the week the freshmen became fearful of what would happen to them if they tried to show support for their grade.
In order to try to bring the fun back to Spirit Week, Principal, Kurt Ogren called the senior class down to the auditorium for a briefing about how spirit week needed to be changed to continue. The seniors were informed that Ogren was receiving a lot of complaints from parents, saying that their children were afraid to take the bus or even attend school during the week. While the seniors were not the only ones causing these problems they were the ones who were advised to change their behavior in hopes that the rest of the school would follow.
While the goal of Spirit Week has always been to bring the school together it seemed that this year more than any other it was doing the exact opposite. Rather than friendly competition that brought grades together it seemed that each grade was going all out in an attempt to “take-down” their fellow classmates.
With all of the problems that have been occurring during Spirit Week, changes came when it was time to discuss Pep Rally. In the past, Pep Rally has been the most spirit oriented day of the week. All of the students gather in the gym for about an hour at the end of the half-day before Thanksgiving Break to partake in more friendly competitions including the three-legged race, tug-of-war, and screaming contest. Alumni even are known to show up at the school, home on break, and watch as students compete to earn the spirit shovel.
Despite the fact that these traditions have held true to Woodland since its history, with a new principal comes new changes and these changes will have a direct impact on Pep Rally. This year it is rumored that there will be no tug-of-war or screaming contest and alumni will not be allowed in the building on the day of the event.
Although many of Woodland’s students are disappointed that these events are no longer taking place, it is important they remember Spirit Week is a time for the school to come together and celebrate all the great things that Woodland has to offer.
If you would like to share your opinion about why you enjoy Spirit Week, please leave a comment below!
Edit(11/27 at 9:56am):: To clarify the decision to eliminate the tug-of-war competition did not come from Principal Ogren, but from Mr. Tomlin. Also, students have been notified by Principal Ogren as of this morning, that if they behave throughout the Pep Rally they will be able to have a screaming contest.