Spirit Week brings East community together

For the entire week leading up to the Homecoming dance, the decorations adorned the school’s Commons and the dance’s DJ played music to encourage student spirit and attendance at the event. “[Spirit Week] is just fun. And everyone’s just doing it. You’re all excited for the same thing. It’s this week that everybody looks forward to,” Consumer Education teacher Andrea Van Wie said. Photo by Alison Standish.

Last week, the four hallways surrounding the commons area were saturated with color. Red lights decked the seniors’ section while the area dedicated to the juniors contained unconventional usages of yellow post-it notes and paper plates to dot the walls. Green streamers hung from the sophomores’ domain while carefully crafted posters featuring blue glitter lined the area specific to freshmen. Music blared from the commons, and students in costume sported their creativity. Spirit Week at East was underway.

According to Student Council President Liz Borwick, the importance of Spirit Week lies in the school unity it creates.

“I think [Spirit Week] just breaks barriers. Obviously a lot of people express themselves individually with how they dress and everything like that, but then seeing everyone participate in the same spirit day color, or going to Homecoming all together, or the music during lunch, it just brings everyone all together in the sense that we are one,” Borwick said.

Part of Borwick’s role during Spirit Week as President was to encourage participation.

“[We try to encourage participation by] word by mouth. Our twitter is our biggest form of communication, but then [also] encouraging the younger classes [through] freshman seminar and making people understand that participating is the way to go instead of being scared to participate,” Borwick said.

Consumer Education teacher Andrea Van Wie said that students and staff should participate in Spirit Week together and join in on the fun to show they care about school pride. In Van Wie’s classes, she tries her hardest to encourage participation.

“I didn’t do [Spirit Week] in high school so maybe that’s why I like it so much. [As] an adult I see [that] this is an exciting thing, it’s about bringing [students] together, it’s about building that community and building tradition, and I wish that kids saw that more and understood that more,” Van Wie said.

Spirit Week began last Monday with a “black out day,” where participating students and staff came to school dressed in their black clothing. Tuesday’s theme was pajama day, where students and staff were free to come to school in their onesies, their craziest pajama pants, or their favorite slippers.

“There’s unity in doing the dress up days and things like that. Obviously every class is competing for spirit points…but by and large it’s just a unifying thing for everyone to be participating in. [It’s] something that’s just fun and not taken too seriously,” Student Council Sponsor Stephanie Scapino said.

Scapino said that her role in Spirit Week, though stressful at times, is ultimately rewarding.

“As a sponsor it’s very stressful, [but] I love the dance, because everyone’s so cute and dressed up. They just have a good time and everyone just blows off steam,” Scapino said. “I really like that, and I like seeing the kids participate and get along. I think we have an awesome student body and they all do a good job of supporting each other. It’s fun.”


“I think [Spirit Week] just breaks barriers. Obviously a lot of people express themselves individually with how they dress and everything like that, but then seeing everyone participate in the same spirit day color, or going to Homecoming all together, or the music during lunch, it just brings everyone all together in the sense that we are one.” 

— Student Council President Liz Borwick


Van Wie chose a pink t-shirt, a pink tutu, and pink dangly earrings for class color day. a day dedicated to showcasing each class’s specific color: Red for seniors, yellow for juniors, green for sophomores, blue for freshmen, and pink for staff.

“For the whole school, it develops that sense of community. You guys are all here together. It’s different, it’s exciting, it makes your week different, and that’s why I think staff members should do it. Because then [students] see that it’s important to us also,” Van Wie said. “Even if [staff] just wears a pink shirt, or whatever it is for the day, [students can see] that we are all part of the school: that [students] are part of the school, that [staff] is a part of the school, we’re all here together, it just makes it fun.”

Van Wie chose a pink t-shirt, a pink tutu, and pink dangly earrings for class color day. a day dedicated to showcasing each class’s specific color: Red for seniors, yellow for juniors, green for sophomores, blue for freshmen, and pink for staff.

“Normally when kids dress up weird for anything, people normally make fun of them. [But] in Spirit Week, if you dress up weird, it’s fun,” sophomore Austin Bliss said from under his faux gray mustache and thick black costume glasses that he chose to wear for Thursday’s theme day, “baby vs. senior citizen” day.

Freshman Madison Allen said that the atmosphere of Spirit Week at East, compared to her experience at junior high, gave her a warm welcome into the school’s community.

“[Oswego East] gives you more freedom [to do] more fun things with spirit wear compared to [my old] school. [In junior high] they didn’t make it as fun,” Allen said.

According to junior Kyle Farr, Spirit Week is something that can unify a school and create a valuable high school experience.

“It’s important to show your school spirit so that you can support your school. It kind of brings together the grades and stuff, [so it creates] school unity,” Farr said. “If [the school] is not together, you don’t feel like a family with the rest of your classmates, [and] it’s not really a fun experience being in high school.”

In addition to the theme days, Spirit Week also featured contests in which the different classes competed for spirit points. These games, games such as trivia, minute-to-win-it games and mummy wrap, took place during lunch and were facilitated by the student board members. Borwick said that she tried to make Spirit Week a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved.

“I want to make everybody happy, so I do my best to make sure that each grade has a say. It’s not my homecoming week, it’s the school’s, so I want to make sure that everyone is enjoying the week just as much as I am,” Borwick said.

Spirit Week ended with an all-school pep rally on Friday, where the dance and cheer teams, the a capella choir, and a small selection of teachers put on different performances. Students also had the opportunity to compete in a last-chance shot for spirit points in different games and activities such as an obstacle course and a match of tug-of-war.

“I think school spirit is important in general, just taking pride in where you go to school or where you went to school and feeling like you have some ownership and [feeling] like you made a mark somewhere,” Scapino said. “I think those things are kind of cool. It gives you something to be proud of and something to look forward to.”

As the year’s first Spirit Week came to a close, the points were tallied up and the results indicated that sophomores finished in fourth place, the freshmen in third, juniors in second, and seniors in first.

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