When most students think of IHS, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t abundant school spirit. Recently, school spirit has remained dormant with the exception of events such as Homecoming, when students participate in Spirit Week and celebrate their common identities as IHS students; even then, spirit is visibly weak because only a small percentage of the school actively participates. However, school spirit is important in that it brings the students and staff together and emphasizes the fact that we all belong to the same community. The fun and exciting energy of Spirit Week and the Pep Rally should be replicated more times throughout the year, and students must be the driving force behind this change.
A number of factors have led to the lack of school spirit at IHS. Students aren’t kept well informed about important things involving the school, including IHS varsity sports teams’ records, and the achievements of clubs. Because students are kept out of the loop on certain events around the school, they aren’t able to cheer on or celebrate with their peers, and they miss out on an essential part of the high school experience.
Thankfully, this is something that can be fixed. The Tattler aims to increase student awareness of such events by expanding coverage in the sports section, with sports scores being available at the end of each month on its website, ihstattler.com, beginning in February. However, this doesn’t solve the problematic lack of opportunities to show school-wide spirit, and The Tattler calls upon IHS student government to create more opportunities for spirit.
Currently, certain groups within the school show spirit in many ways, allowing for peers to take notice of their unique expressions of team spirit. Sports teams are known to take part in spirit days of their own whenever they have an upcoming meet, match, or game. This expression of enthusiasm manifests itself in the form of student athletes roaming the halls dressed in leis, pajamas, beachy clothes, and almost anything else imaginable. The dedication toward their teams that they show is admirable, and their enthusiasm is contagious. IHS clubs should replicate these spirit days to extend this celebration of school spirit to a wider portion of the student body.
However, this still doesn’t address the issue of a lack of schoolwide spirit. To this end, school administrators have taken a creative approach, and its effects are showing. One step in the right direction is the recent organization of buses to ferry students to cheer on sports teams at sectional games, allowing students the chance to engage with school sports teams in a noticeable way. Additionally, the creation of the Captain’s Council, a seasonal group of team captains from ongoing sports of IHS, has resulted in students taking charge in creating a new athletics motto for IHS.
Additional opportunities for students who want to show their support but don’t have an outlet to do so should be provided by students and student government. Students who play sports shouldn’t be the only ones participating in school spirit; there is potential for the entire school to unite, and it could be in the form of something as simple and silly as a schoolwide pajama day. Small, spirit-filled events could have a drastic impact on school spirit during the rest of the year. Similarly, class officers could organize class-wide spirit days to engage large portions of the student body.
Another potential measure to increase school spirit would be to follow Student Council’s suggestion of having a winter pep rally. This would allow school spirit to be expanded beyond just the beginning of the year, and students could take initiative and proactively change the state of IHS’s spirit if they play a greater role in organizing the event. Since this pep rally would take place in the middle of the school year, it would provide a good boost in student energy in a time when it is most needed.
School spirit should play a much larger and year-round role in IHS. Substantial changes have been made this year to increase spirit, but the measures taken are not enough. In order to cultivate a sense of belonging and pride, students, and particularly IHS student government, should strive to build upon the spirit opportunities created by administrators.