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Taft Today

Taft Today

Taft HOCO and Spirit Week

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Courtesy of editor.

Students at Taft High School love the idea of showing school spirit, on their terms. When it comes to being involved in these activities there are a handful of students who show pride, however, the majority don’t seem too motivated to participate.

Would this still be the case if students got more liberty when it comes to the decision-making process?

The week leading up to Taft’s homecoming incorporates five fun days of dressing up in themes. Some of these have been repeated for years now. Coming from a senior myself, seeing the repetition of themes from the past three years discourages me and my friends from involving ourselves in these activities. 

The conversation of changing up the themes and bringing in something new is introduced every year to admin, but who really has control over that? Who chooses the themes? How can we as students change them?

Kate Landaverde, senior at Taft High School and President of Student Government, talked about the process when nominating and voting on the themes. Many of the themes are out of the students control and in preference of Principal Mark Grishaber, like College and Career day. “We have an officers meeting and create ideas that are introduced during another meeting with government leaders,” Landaverde said. 

They introduced the majority of the finalized themes such as Barbie: the Movie day, Pajama day, and Taft class colors. Who decides these themes? Are students involved in introducing some of these ideas to the officers meeting? 

In an interview with Kim Nguyen, a junior at Taft, we asked if she had any ideas for the themes this year. “I think the themes are getting boring, the only reason why I’m doing them is because I’m about to leave high school. Maybe we should have an Adam Sandler day, a lot of people would participate. He’s a meme.”

Plenty of students have these ideas and collectively agree that it would sufficiently represent our interests and humor. 

After being asked for her opinion, Yana Stavnicha, a senior at Taft,  feels that the themes don’t adequately represent our student body as a whole nor include our interests. “Of course, It’s the same thing every single year. It should be more inclusive and targeted towards us. After all, spirit week is designed around the students, shouldn’t we have a say?”

“It doesn’t really make sense for us, students, to participate in something we didn’t create. It should be more connected to the student base,” said Sebastian Ostowski, junior at Taft. He argues that the themes are the same every year, students don’t feel like the opportunity is given to express themselves adequately.

The recurrence of concerns and disappointment coming from Taft students isn’t something new. Last year students created their own private spirit week themes and gained attention through social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. The alternate themes allowed students to express themselves without the need for approval.

After speaking to both Principal Mark Grishaber and Assistant Principal Ryan Glowacz, a different perspective and argument arose. They both claimed that many of the themes are mandatory and fall into line with activities happening during schools such as the College Fair for the theme College and Career Day. 

“The Post-Secondary fair is Thursday so It was already a natural fit for College and Career Day. I think the days fit pretty well in my opinion.” Glowacz explained how it was appropriate to associate the school’s timing such as the fair and even senior sunrise for Pajama Day. 

“I think the more student voice, the better. There’s some schools that have multiple spirit weeks throughout the year which makes it fun to go to school. It’s something to look forward to,” Glowacz said. 

When asked about the idea of allowing students to create their own themes for the upcoming spirit week, Grishaber said, “You can’t be too out there, you can’t be too controversial and you have to keep the themes in narrow parameters.” This is why it might be difficult, but not impossible.

It is confirmed that this Spring there will be another Homecoming. “Well we have another homecoming in spring,” Grishaber said. He encourages students now to start thinking about themes and our preferences.

Think about it: Bring Anything But a Backpack, Adam Sandler, Disney Day, Dress Up as Your Favorite Celebrity, Togo Day. Ways students can vote and voice their opinions would be through google forms to electronically keep track of each vote and keep things organized. It’s also the easiest way to contact students and get everyone involved.

At the end of the day, students know what they want and will support. Listening to our interests will encourage more participation and excitement to show school spirit. Actions can be taken to further have a say in the things that apply to us.

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About the Contributors
Sahara Samrah, Reporter
Carmen Ramirez, Reporter