Spirit Week Story

Spirit Week Story

Jared Arenas, Quality Control & Head Editor

Spirit Week has been a staple in high schools for decades on end. In the case of Centennial High School, previous endeavors promoted it as an event reserved only a few times a year, usually as a leadup for large school wide events such as Homecoming or Winter Formal. As of this year, the Student Council has made changes in order to incorporate Spirit Weeks as a scheduled celebration every month. I caught up with Cing Dim, CHS’s ASB President and member of the Student Council in order to get to the root of these decisions.

“It’s really important,” Dim said, acknowledging the significance of these events in the school. “It creates unity, and I believe our school really needs that right now. When students know each other, and kind of talk together, it kind of creates that kind of sense of respecting one another and caring for each other’s feelings. And I think long term with disciplinary actions that’s been happening a lot, I think that could help improve that. With Spirit Weeks, when you dress up, you look at each other and talk to each other- kind of bond over something you didn’t see before, and I think that helps finding a commonality amongst each other even though you’re not in the same grade or in the same classes. And walking through the hallways is something- it’s a very small thing- but I think long-term wise it could really impact students’ lives.”

Starting in Spring 2020 and ending as the 2020-2021 school year came to a close, CHS utilized their Elmer Eagle and class Instagram pages to host Spirit Weeks. These would be announced on the assemblies during Advisory periods, and on their stories, with hopes that students would engage and submit their photos to share on social media using the school-related hashtags they’ve set up. The first of these virtual Spirit Weeks concurred with the early days of quarantine, containing prompts such as Bed Head Day and Art Day, to show off any new styles they’ve assumed during that time, and artwork that they had been working on, respectively.

“It was more virtual, and we wanted to do more Spirit Week. And it was hard. We technically can’t do it in-person, and we still wanted to keep the same spirit virtually so that’s why we did it. The participation was OK, it wasn’t the best it could be, but the people who wanted to do it still did it. So I think it gave them an opportunity to show school spirit despite the pandemic.”

As a result of physical learning resuming back in session last September, the school made sure that these weekly celebrations returned to their usual medium, and starting that month, they hosted their first traditional Spirit Week in a year and a half. Students could be seen walking down the hallway sporting gear ranging from tropical attire and fancy clothing, to monochrome outfits.

“I felt like it would be more unified- promote more school spirit.” Dim reflected. “Considering we weren’t in school for the whole pandemic, we missed out on a lot of Spirit Months that we could do. So we thought, ‘Why not do it every month? What’s the harm in that?’ ”

The topic of more creative Spirit Days came up, and Dim asserted that the Student Council wanted to set up more innovative ways for students to express themselves. “If we want to give prompts for Spirit Days, we want it to be open to interpretation. So it’s not specific like ‘Pink Out Day’, or a specific color, where we give out prompts where anyone can be so into anything. Like with ‘Anything but a Backpack’ it’s so opened up to interpretation. You can do anything with it, and it’s really up to someone’s mind, and I think it creates more fun and more out of the box thinking that we wanted.”

“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from a lot of students. They didn’t really like some of the Spirit Day themes so we took some students’ suggestions, and [took] up on what they want and what improvements they want. These posts and the suggestion box help students feel like they are a part of making the decisions of the Spirit Days, and they are involved in making big events, and feel like their voices are heard. We do hear what they want at the end of the day.”

Dim continued by correlating the decision of the Student Council embracing monthly Spirit Weeks with Winter Formal, saying that she would love huge participation in the upcoming dance. “[I] feel like students don’t really take into account the behind the scenes of how Winter Formal [happens]. There’s a lot of details to really consider, considering COVID. And I know a lot of students who feel very strongly [about] why it’s at the gym. But you know, there’s a lot of reasons why considering money, time, and COVID.”

“I think we have to appreciate what we have and not complain, because I feel like when you complain a lot, you aren’t living in the moment.”

The Student Council will be trying their best to appeal to each student’s wants and needs for Spirit Weeks, and are hoping more students will be able to express themselves, and will be happy to come to school in the subsequent semester to participate. In terms of future plans for Spirit Weeks, they will continue to be promoted through Advisory, be shown in slides, and are planned to be presented each month for the remainder of the school year.

Dim then gave a preview as to what February’s Spirit Days will look like. “We are looking more into [the] Valentine’s Day theme. The next Spirit Week is gonna be building up to Winter Formal, so maybe a lot of pink and red stuff. A lot of hearts and butterflies maybe.”