Changes to Spirit Week ignite controversy

The administration altered class color day, in addition to other Spirit Week plans, amid concerns for the school’s image and student safety.

Speculation has circulated the last two weeks that the administration would ban class color day from this year’s Spirit Week, set to begin next week. According to Student Activities Council moderator Rodney Johnson, the administration getting rid of class color day is not a new idea.

For the past five years, Johnson has argued with the administration in favor of class color day, but after last year’s events, Johnson understood the administration’s concerns. “The climate of the week had gotten bad; the tension, uglier,” said Johnson.

Last year’s tensions included freshmen vandalizing the senior hallway and paint and punches being thrown at the Powder Puff game.

Student leaders addressed the speculations at Wednesday morning’s SAC meeting. Johnson deferred the student leaders to Dean of Students Tomas Vierheller, who informed them of the decision to make seniors wear gold, juniors wear black, and freshmen and sophomores wear white.

The students leaders’ concerns over the changes were then deferred to Principal Paul Barker, who agreed to meet with SAC leadership Wednesday morning.

The leadership‘s main argument in the meeting was that students would rebel against the administration if students were shut out of class color day. Vierheller described the meeting as “leadership at its best.”

Barker was then willing to consider having class color day because of the student leaders’ ability to present their arguments clearly, in addition to the lack of major issues arising this school year.

The administration met with cabinet members and the class presidents again Thursday morning, and informed them of the decision to allow seniors and juniors to wear green and blue, respectively. Freshmen will wear black and sophomores will wear gold.

However, some underclassmen are displeased with the change. Sophomore class president Nandin Dave said, “Our color is red. Period. They can’t change that.”

A main concern about losing class color day was the idea that it is discontinuing a legacy. “It’s unfair to break the tradition,” said junior Jenna Glassman. Nonetheless, class color day has only been in existence for eight or nine years.

Other traditions like pep rally were also set to change, but will now stay relatively the same. Changes that will be kept in place include separating the juniors and seniors at the Powder Puff game and allowing only the seniors to decorate the hallways in black and gold.

Grade level meetings for seniors and juniors took place in homeroom on Friday to discuss appropriate behavior for Spirit Week. Vierheller said, “This is our chance to right the ship.”

Additional reporting by Jenny Hottle.

Collin Hoofnagle can be reached for comment at [email protected].