Keeping South spirit alive online

The social studies department dressed up together, remotely, as a part of South’s
first ever virtual spirit week. Photo courtesy of Class of '22.

The social studies department dressed up together, remotely, as a part of South’s first ever virtual spirit week. Photo courtesy of Class of '22.

Hope Whitney '21 and Maddie Weekley '21

School may be remote now, but that doesn’t mean school spirit has to die. Student council and Student Association (SA) have been working on events to keep students engaged in activities that would happen normally.
Student council member Megan DeGrand ’22 said with being away from school, it’s been difficult to get students to take school spirit as seriously as they would in a traditional school setting.
“When there’s a spirit week at school, everyone is participating because you can see everyone in person and see a whole united school together,” DeGrand said. “It’s just not the same through screens.”
According to DeGrand, SA and student council are posting about their activities in advance in an effort to get more participation.
“It’s difficult to get others to participate in school spirit activities because maybe some people aren’t constantly checking their class’s Instagram posts or updates,” DeGrand said. “Just getting the word out can sometimes just get lost in your feed and some people may flat out not want to get dressed up if they’re not going to school.”
DeGrand said although it can be harder to reach out to students, it’s essential to continue upholding a sense of school unity.
Some people might not have a ton of friends or be in a bunch of clubs, but they still have school where they can feel like they’re a part of something and that’s even more important right now,” DeGrand said.
According to Jack Vethacke ’23, participating in virtual spirit week was a fun way to connect with other students and feel more productive.
“It was something a bit social that was able to keep me from being really lazy,” Vethacke said. “By participating in virtual spirit week, I had to get up every day and get dressed in actual clothes. It was something that got me excited and ready for the day.”
Vethacke said he thinks both SA and student council are doing a great job at keeping school spirit alive and he’s excited for what’s to come.
“I definitely think more school spirit days would be fun,” Vethacke said. “Since I’m still a freshman, I don’t really know what else the school does for spirit, however, I think it would be really fun to do an online pep rally or something along those lines. I really like what The Tower is doing right now with Instagram polls and stay-at-home stories because it shows what other people are doing to stay active during quarantine and gives me something to do.”
DeGrand said student council has been, and will continue, creating new ideas and events to keep students engaged and unified.
“Our student council has also planned to have Zoom meetings in the future to discuss what else we could do for the school during quarantine,” DeGrand said. “Some struggles, of course, are that many just don’t want to get dressed for spirit days as it’s easier to just stay in your pajamas all day, but for those that did participate, it was fun to see familiar faces dressing up like you.”
SA adviser Claire Sobolak said the club has been working together virtually to plan events. They have an upcoming staff appreciation week planned for May 4 to May 8.
“There will be fun activities throughout the week for students and staff,” Sobolak said. “There are other events being explored through SA currently but nothing is set in stone yet.”
Sobolak said events such as virtual staff appreciation can help unify students, staff and families in the South community.
“With a global pandemic occurring and many of us knowing individuals with COVID-19 or family members with it, it’s important to band together to celebrate each other as a South community,” Sobolak said. “There is so much for us to be thankful for. Now is the time to lean on each other, celebrate South and look forward.”