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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Spirit — and event participation — should last the whole year

Allison Tan
Spring semester events deserve the same amount of hype as first semester.

Words cannot describe the disappointment I felt when the Spring Fling dance got canceled last school year. My friends had to hold me back from rallying students and demanding they purchase tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But sadly, this is not the first time a springtime event has been canceled due to the lack of student participation.

While there are many spirit events to look forward to throughout the year such as Homecoming, Winter Formal and Prom, the most anticipated events of the year almost always seem to fall in the first semester. 

Although there is Prom to look forward to in the spring, the excitement is limited to upperclassmen, with graduation-related events filling up the rest of the calendar. Since freshmen and sophomores make up half of the school population, there need to be more activities targeted toward them and the whole school to benefit springtime school spirit. 

There exists potential events that can match the energy of first semester’s events: A week with well-planned Falconpuff (previously Powderpuff) activities, capstoned with the Spring Fling dance at the end of the week. Falconpuff creates a sense of playful competition between the grades, as students participate in a series of flag football games and cheer stand-offs. While the first semester has a total of three dances — Back to School, Homecoming and Winter Formal — the second semester only has prom for juniors and seniors, necessitating the revival of Spring Fling.

Leadership should also create excitement leading up to Spring Fling with a spirit week that mirrors Homecoming Week, when everybody dresses up in their class colors and merch.

Dances and in-school activities give students something to look forward to: dressing up, dancing, planning skits and having fun with friends outside of school. Additionally, holding a large spring dance again would establish a tradition that can be carried on and hyped up in future years. 

I’m not trying to say that second semester is devoid of fun events: There are several noteworthy events that take place in the second semester. The main one is Bombay in the Bay (BnB), which is admittedly an equally massive production, but mostly made up of a specific demographic and often only attended by family members of performers — in other words, not a school-wide event like Homecoming. Other, smaller events also include Quadsidelands and the Benefit Fashion Show. 

What makes these events unique is that they each have their own goal beyond raising school spirit. Both BnB and the Benefit Fashion Show utilize student passion to raise money for worthy organizations and causes. In a similar vein, Dance Commission’s Quadsidelands, mirroring beloved music festival Outsidelands, highlights student musical talent.

One of the reasons these events don’t gain enough participation is that teachers and students  often feel burned out from the rigor of first semester. As a result, they don’t see the appeal or make time to attend such events. Staff can significantly raise interest in school events by attending events and offering extra credit to students who also show up. With frequent announcements on leadership events from teachers even just in classrooms, we can raise spring spirit to match first semester. 

It is important not to undermine events such as these and to consistently show spirit throughout the whole year. This not only benefits and uplifts the whole school, but it impacts students’ overall mood and attitude. Given that the school is highly academic, better school spirit can improve mental health and reduce stress levels. 

While the leadership class can organize events, the rest of us need to show up and enjoy them. From organizing Falconpuff cheers to buying Spring Fling tickets, students can help foster a vibrant spirit that continues throughout second semester.

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