By Baylee Colburn –
Showing school spirit has been a tradition at Lincoln High since 1937 when a group called the Peppers was established. This year, like in many years past, the themes for Spirit Week and Homecoming were decided by the Student Council. As open and welcoming Lincoln High is, so should the themes for Homecoming and Spirit Week. Although it’s always been tradition to have Student Council decide the themes, traditions can change.
Some students feel their voice should be heard and have never really been a fan of the themes. The student body should be able to vote for the themes.
When asking students and teachers about this idea, many agreed with the idea of having student involvement in deciding the Spirit Week and Homecoming themes. Junior Katie Tracy said, “I think it would get the kids views and what they want, also it would get them more involved.”
Freshman Katelyn McNally said, “I like having the idea of a vote. I should have a say in the themes.”
Math teacher Hanna Beck said, “The idea would give more student input, and students more collectiveness”.
Student Council sponsor and English teacher Nicole Barnes responded to these suggestions. “I really like the idea of having student input, especially with the overall theme for the dance. It gets more people interested and makes people feel like they have more ownership. The downside is when people don’t get what they want because their idea is out-voted there are some hurt feelings or some animosity because of that and they decide to boycott homecoming, and we don’t want that, either. That’s one of the reasons we want to narrow it down. It also takes a lot of time. So I guess that would be a downside, but overall, I think it’s a good idea.”
This year was a little bit different, because Homecoming happened so early. StuCo members had to meet even before school started to decide on the themes.
“In years past we’ve narrowed it down to three themes for the overall week, and then we’ve had people vote online,” Barnes said”. But this year we didn’t just because Homecoming came so early. And in order to order all of the decorations and all that, we needed to get on it right away.”
What’s Barnes’ favorite Spirit Week Day?
“I’ve always really liked Twin Day. Kids come up with some of the most fun costumes for that day. I like to see who twins with who.”
With this year’s Homecoming coming so early and making student participation difficult, hopefully in the future things will change for the students and how we voice our opinions.
Not only should the way we pick our themes be changed, the high levels of double standard should be brought to attention. During Spirit Week, especially on days such as Wacky Wednesday, male students at Lincoln High wear articles of clothing that are in clear violation of the dress code. Don’t get me wrong, there a lot of things students both male and female wear during Spirit Week that violate dress code: things such as hats, extremely short shorts, crop tops, face paint, bandanas, sleeveless shirts, and objects that are on other days considered a distraction to the learning environment.
But the main issue here is that males can wear clothing that is considered extremely inappropriate for a female, like crop tops, sleeveless shirts, and short shorts. Even during Spirit Week females are sometimes given referrals for dress code violations for wearing exactly what the guys are wearing. One freshman was dress coded for wearing a crop top and was told she needed to wear a jacket while multiple guys wore crop tops and sleeveless shirts were never even second looked at. With this being brought to attention, the way we enforce the dress code during spirit week.
The idea of themes such as Wacky Wednesday are great and tons of fun, but even though it is Spirit Week, men should not be aloud to wear things that females cannot. If a male can wear a crop top during spirit week then so should females. If men can wear very short shorts then so should females. Spirit Week is all about showing school pride, but how can we have pride when the double standard is such a problem?
The question here is, are male and female students being treated as equals during Spirit Week? Are students speaking up on the problems we see at Lincoln High? Do we really have a say in what goes on at Lincoln High?