Senior Unity Day sparks enthusiasm in students


Nicole Hunter

Senior Zach Reed competes against English teacher Matthew Blair during a balloon popping contest on Senior Unity Day. Senior Unity Day took place on Sept. 22, where the class of 2018 was able to bond and meet new friends.

Sporting a baby blue bandanna, senior Rosemary Gillam races to the next activity station with her team. Attempting to win first place, Gillam encourages her teammates to do their best and cheers them on with the hope of victory. Arriving at “Davidson’s Dash,” Gillam relays through the inflatable obstacle course on the alumni turf field and snaps a picture of her team’s success.

Senior Unity Day, which was held on Sept. 22, is an annual tradition that unites the senior class having a sense of camaraderie throughout the school year. Although Senior Unity Day has been modified throughout the years, its goal has always been to set a positive tone for the seniors’ final nine months of high school.

In previous years, Senior Unity Day was held before the start of the school year. Carly Lyon, class of ‘16, believes that having Senior Unity Day before the start of the school year is much more effective, unlike this year. “Because then you go into the school year with this vibe of being one cohesive unit instead up picking it up throughout the whole school year,” Lyon said.

Last year, the day was service-oriented and the class was split into quarters. Seniors stayed in these groups throughout the day, taking part in activities like painting bowls, packing bags of school supplies, and cutting jeans into shoes.

While the day was meant to be fun and unite all of the seniors, many students thought there was too much service for the day. “Personally, I love service, but I felt like for Senior Unity Day that was a bit much,” Caity McComas, class of ‘17, said. “We weren’t bonding with each other for anything.”

During this year’s Senior Unity Day, however, students were randomly divided into one of several small groups. The groups competed in “The Amazing Race” to start the day. Students had to work together to complete tasks that were organized by teachers and staff, such as making a human pyramid with English teacher Hayley Howe and learning the Hand Jive with Fine Arts and Theater teacher Kim Brueggemann.

Senior Ben Sullivan originally felt anxious to be split into small groups that were randomly assigned, but he quickly found himself growing closer with his classmates and enjoying the time he spent with different people. His favorite aspect was being able to participate in the several small activities and obstacles while working together to form a bond with his group.

Breaking students into small groups has been a consistent theme throughout the past three years, and students seem to enjoy the connections they form with one another in smaller settings. “I liked being separated into small groups because it was way easier to not go with your friends immediately. You could branch out and realize that my grade is filled with amazing people, not just my friends, but everyone,” Lyon said.

In a similar way to several of his classmates, Sullivan found himself dreading going to a school-organized day that was originally perceived to be a day of service. “Before going into it, I didn’t think it was going to be that much fun because it was a school event, but I think it was a lot better than what people said it was,” Sullivan said.

Following “The Amazing Race” students came back together in a large group and participated in painting bowls for St. Vincent de Paul Society’s Empty Bowls program. This was a duplicated activity from last year that many students seemed to enjoy. “I thought that [service aspect] was good a thing, it’s fun. And it was a way to just talk to people and it’s not like you were working really hard, you could still get to know people and talk to them,” Gillam said.  

Although Senior Unity Day has changed, this year’s model received a more positive reaction from students. “[My year] was nice, but I think I like the way your Senior Unity Day was. Yes, you are broken up into smaller groups but … you got to work together and bond with each other,” McComas said. “You’re forming a relationship even if it’s just for that one day.”

Taylor Bynion is the Copy Chief and Anna Sullivan is an Entertainment Editor for The Patriot and