Opinion: A Spirit-Less Spirit Week

[Note: As per its Editorial Policy, the Sentinel would like to reiterate that individual, signed opinion pieces reflect only the position of the author, and not the Sentinel as a whole. We would also like to remind our readers that the rules and regulations referred to date back several years. An opinion piece dealing with the dress code generally will also appear in our 2013 Homecoming print edition – we encourage all members of the SLS community to pick up a copy on Saturday.]

Spirit Week, to the disappointment of the majority of the student body, has become only a shadow of the fun and festive five days it once was.

Put aside the fact that the week has been shrunken down to only four days due to Columbus Day (which is enough to make one wish that Homecoming had simply been put off or moved forward by a week). Forget that this year’s themes (Neon Day, Safari Day, and Career Day) have met with consistently mixed reviews. The truly blood-boiling aspect of this year’s celebration is that Spirit Week has become just another time for “the Man” to suppress the people.

A 2011 Homecoming costume that "the Man" would likely not allow during this year's Spirit Week.

A 2011 Homecoming costume that “the Man” would likely not allow during this year’s Spirit Week.

That’s right: Spirit Week has been bombarded with strict rules and regulations (which may have well been in place before, but were often not enforced) that has the SLS student body second guessing whether or not dressing up is worth unintentionally breaking the rules.

The controversial dictates on costumes are as follows: nothing more than two inches above the knee, no masks, nothing that shows “the midriff”, no spandex, no tights/leggings, no form fitting costumes, and nothing that will offend anybody. Simply stated, the Administration is basically saying no laughter, no smiles, and absolutely no fun.

At first these things may not seem vexing, but when one thinks of the whole purpose of Spirit Week, who is to judge what is appropriate? And isn’t the very idea of not offending anybody unrealistic? It is impossible to satisfy every single person in the school. It is incredibly frustrating that, as one student has joked, the School’s motto seems to have become “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Please Everybody.”

Additionally, these rules are stricter, in some ways, from our everyday dress code. Remember, for instance, that not even school-regulation “skorts” are only two inches above the knee. They’re also largely incompatible with student government’s chosen themes, which the Administration presumably had to agree to. Neon Day, for example, becomes a chore rather than something that can be enjoyed when spandex and leggings are forbidden.

The severity of the rules makes one ponder the contradictory nature of the School’s promotion of Banned Books Week some time ago. How can we support reading banned literature and the right to free self-expression one week, and then stifle that same self-expression only a short time later?

When one thinks of the upcoming “Spirit Week,” one cannot deny that it pales in comparison to its antecedents. What will the effect be on future attempts to instill school spirit? Certainly the current Middle Schoolers are bound to be less than enthusiastic, as they will have no memories of Upper Schoolers going “all-out” when it was their chance to celebrate their community.

The school is currently undergoing major construction. While our campus is being built up why should we, the students, be pulled down? We must recall that St. Luke’s was founded by spontaneous, outrageous, and impulsive people (note our most recent Throwback Thursday, “The Day Joe Kidd Ran My Pants Up The Flagpole”) and we ought to remember to nurture this generation and those that will follow us to have the same qualities. We are the St. Luke’s Storm, and it would be in our best interest to take that into account while preserving the long-running traditions that makes St. Luke’s, our St. Luke’s.

— Josie Williams, Staff Writer

Posted by on October 14, 2013. Filed under Op-Ed. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry