Reviving School Spirit

After the October Issue’s scathing critique of the student body’s school spirit and lack of passion, there is a solution to the problem of Howell’s withering.

First though, one must define school spirit. It is tremendously difficult to grasp the idea of school spirit when it is conveyed as a random week where everyone is supposed to dress up, or pay for a ticket to a game on icy bleachers, or going to a pep rally where everyone sets on their phones to pass the time. Spirit is that feeling of pride that wells up in your chest when you hear something good about Howell. Spirit is the cheering on the faces of 580 people on last year’s yearbook cover. Spirit is the feeling of making state. We can bring that home; we can bring that here.

School spirit is supposed to be lived in the day-to-day. School spirit is participating in fundraisers, attending more than just football games; it’s supporting all the sports, productions, and clubs as an extension of Howell.

To do this, students have to buy tickets to the plays, which support the drama department, or attend choir events, which support choir. Students should also pay small club fees to sustain the dwindling club life in post budget cut Howell, and students should go cheer for their friends in less publicized sports and competitions. These small monetary and physical changes will make big waves in the spirit here. More sold out drama shows means the drama department can buy more props, plays, and supplies. This means overall better productions. Club entry fees would allow clubs to be able to do more and open their doors to more people because they become self-sustainable. Buying tickets to less publicized sports would stir up talk and increase funds so that sports and competitions that go unheard of get the attention and much needed funds they deserve.

This ripple doesn’t stop within these walls either. If the school blossoms on the inside, it blossoms on the outside. If parents see that their students are willingly participating in school functions, they will invest. If the parents invest, the rest of the community would follow suit. Massive beneficial incomes for the school, like Prop L, wouldn’t fail if the students were passionate about the place where they spend most of their time and radiated this passion even when they weren’t at school. Prop L, and propositions just like it, would not only increase teachers’ salaries, but would also fund the beautification of the school, pay for new electronics like new chromebooks and iPads, and finance each department so every student would benefit in every class. There’s no reason Howell should not be easily be leading the way in technological and academic advancements.

If students felt more of a bond with each other and the school itself, school pride would soar. Senior handprints should accumulate through every hall. Bland white walls should shout years of history and unity that grows with each year’s graduating class. Student-made banners and posters should decorate the walls. If students played a bigger role in the school they saw everyday, if they made beautiful memories here, if they left a piece of themselves, they’d be proud of that. There would be at least one place in this building for them to cherish. This could be done in a multitude of ways, from butterfly and vegetable gardens, to posters and banners in the halls and common spaces.

There is no reason Vikings should have bitter emotions when it comes to school. Howell is a place that could be both a safe haven and a launching ground of ideas and a central piece in a network of the community, but it all starts with us.