School spirit needs to be rekindled to enhance academic and social environment

Staff Editorial


Srishti Ramesh

More enthusiasm from students and teachers and administrators would work wonders for the culture at Eastern.

East High in “High School Musical” was filled with basketball games, red school apparel, and crazy homecomings. For a lucky few schools, even locally, this is the received reality. All you need to do is attend Cherry Hill’s “Mr. East” contest or stand with the fans at a basketball game.  

  But what do you do when your high school has virtually no school spirit?

  Eastern is infamous for its lack of spirit. With low participation for Spirit Week and even lower turnout for sports games, the student body isn’t exactly boasting with pride.

  School spirit means something different to everyone. For some, it’s all about supporting teams, clubs, and programs. For others, it’s just putting in an effort for a school that you respect.

  The lack of spirit isn’t a problem throughout the area. This isn’t a Cherry Hill East problem or a Haddonfield problem or a Marlton problem— this is solely an Eastern problem.

  Most students in Eastern would not consider themselves spirited. Some students flat-out dislike high school and would rather not spend their time supporting it.

  This dislike can stem from a lot of things; students often find Eastern tedious, with its ID policy and strict rules and exams. People would rather hang out with friends outside of school rather than voluntarily sitting on the home benches for a lacrosse game, coming to the Talent Show, or buying a ticket for “The Music Man.”

  Eastern used to be spirited, though (at least from what we heard from former students and teachers who attended Eastern). Spirit week was once an explosion of fun, wild outfits, crazy hallways, and competitions.

  That was until the infamous and haunted Spirit Week of 2011. Students turned what was supposed to be a fun-filled five days into an utter disaster: paint on freshmen, paint on cars, paint on the parking lot.

  Some paint still lingers.   

  After the incident, administrators, logically, tightened their grip on Spirit Week. Now we have “Spirit Week” lite.

  Let the student body not be misunderstood: students still want spirit- they just want it in a different way. Every high schooler wants to look back on their four years and think, “wow, that was so much fun.” No one wants to remember school as bleak and boring, though this is often the way it is.

  Students have suggested the administration let loose to allow the student body to show spirit the way they want. Rather than having the school itself initiate events, which are sometimes regarded as lame, let the student organizations plan activities.

  When the students are engaged, they’re more likely to get their friends involved. In addition, the events will come across as more geared toward their demographic rather than being a “school-organized” event by veteran teachers and administrators.

  Making a bigger deal out of home games and hyping up smaller clubs is a simple yet effective way to electrify the school climate. Eastern should continue to use ETV and the end-of-day announcements, which reaches the entire school at the same time, to its advantage.

  Teachers have more of an impact than they think, too. It seems as though lots of teachers seem like they, too, aren’t exactly thrilled to be a part of the Eastern family. How many teachers attend events? Unlike other schools, Eastern actually encourages attendance through free tickets to staff members to most events.

  There are exceptions, of course, as there are many teachers who get extremely involved in activities and encourage students to get involved. (We know who you are). If all teachers throughout Eastern showed pride and excitement, it might bolster the student body, as well.

  The students also have equal responsibility and opportunity to make the school more spirited. Get a group of friends together to go watch a basketball game or help decorate with Student Council or start your own small activities that don’t need to be approved by the administration.

  Try to get excited about the smaller things, even if it may seem cheesy. It can be hard to do with the busy schedules that most high schoolers have, but you are only in high school for so long. Do you want to look back with regret, thinking that you could have done more?

  School spirit is a lot more than apparel and painting your face maroon and navy. Spirit can really transform a school’s atmosphere and make what is typically mundane enjoyable. It’ll take a village to get Eastern’s spirit back up, but the process can start with a few. Be one of the first to break the cycle! The school will thank you for it.

  Maybe, just maybe, events like Mr. Eastern, Spring Luau, Walk-a-Thon, and outside field events can return.