School spirit and participation dwindle

School spirit and participation dwindle

By Alexis Galarza Posted December 16, 2022

In recent years, school spirit at Lowry has diminished. School spirit has not always been 100 percent, however, it has been better than it has been recently. Why has the rate of participation gone down? Students come to high school for four years, so why not take these adolescent years and make the most of them? Why leave a pep assembly when you only get four your entire high school career? Some people may say, was it better in the past? Let’s find out.

Mrs. Miranda Santos was a student at Lowry, and she explained the various other things Lowry had done in the past to engage students.

“There wasn’t a big drastic change, but the assemblies used to last longer I think,” said Santos. “We typically did them at the beginning of the year which is important because it gets that aura established.”

So far this year, Lowry has only had one pep assembly that was only 30 minutes long. The assembly was centered around Homecoming, and essentially the spotlight was only on the royal candidates.
Homecoming King Lance Brinegar felt that the assembly being centered around royalty was fun.

“It felt good and it was a lot of fun playing royalty games, it was a great experience,” said Brinegar.

For Queen candidate Megan Cook, the homecoming assembly was equally an amazing experience.
“The assembly was a ton of fun, especially winning the game,” said Cook. “I felt honored to be nominated as a candidate by my peers.”

Marco Ruiz, a senior, wasn’t necessarily upset about the homecoming assembly.

“For those assemblies, it’s usually always based off of the royalty so I think it was fine,” said Ruiz. “I mean, there could be a little more involvement with the student body to keep the students interested.”

Mrs. Marie Jeanne Dawson was the leadership advisor at Lowry in the past. Over her years as the advisor she created multiple strategies to keep students engaged.

“One of the things I always asked leadership kids to do was to always grab at least two students who were non-friends of theirs and try to invite them to participate,” said Dawson. “For example, to bring them to the activities like window paintings.”

During assembly weeks, students usually tend to dress up for spirit week. However, as the years have gone forward fewer and fewer students are participating.

“Back when I went to Lowry there was a lot of participation I feel like for days of the week,” said counselor Hannah Sampson. “When we dressed up, everybody dressed up which is a huge difference I’ve noticed.”
Experiencing the declining school spirit is not easy on past students.“The dwindling school spirit is sad to see, I feel like the school spirit has decreased over the years and I would like to see more students participating,” said Sampson.

Dawson feels that keeping things fresh would be beneficial to the growth in participation.

“Sometimes you have to change it up, once things become predictable kids get bored,” said Dawson. “One of the things the kids loved is when the cheerleaders did things with the guys.”

Sampson believes there are effective ways to bring back student participation by allowing all students’ voices to be heard.

“I think going outside of the box and listening to the students would be a really good idea to see their perspective and get them to participate,” said Sampson.

Student Body President Ruben Garcia said grabbing student attention is not as easy as it seems.

“It’s hard to get students’ attention when planning spirit weeks because some students may find the spirit weeks “not fun” or some may even say that they are open to any spirit week theme,” said Garcia. “So when we ask for their opinion, it makes it hard for myself and the leadership class to receive feedback on what spirit days to do when none of the student body votes or provides feedback.”

This year the leadership class sent out a google form for the student body to vote for a spirit week. The students were able to pick from two themes each of which included five spirit days.

“To me, that was a good thing,” said Dawson. “I think when you do it like that you have enough student involvement.”

For students like Christopher Stevenson, dressing up for spirit days is pointless.

“Why would I have school spirit for a school who doesn’t like me,” said Stevenson. “Plus there’s no point in dressing up because I only like some of the ideas.”

However, when the Google form rolls around to select spirit days, Stevenson is one of the few students who voice their opinions.

As the Student Body Treasurer of Lowry people who don’t vote for spirit days make choosing spirit week harder. It is difficult to try and get students to be happy with the spirit days when they do not voice their opinion and just expect the leadership class to know exactly what they want.

Over the past four years, Lowry has stopped doing a Winterfest assembly. However, Dawson feels like a Winterfest assembly is a key assembly to have.

“We always had a Winterfest assembly, it was a given that anytime there was a homecoming, a Winterfest, a spring fling there was always an assembly that went with it,” said Dawson. “I think that assemblies are really good and that they’re a time where a whole school comes together, which is not often.”

For past student Austin Mayo, the assemblies were a crucial part of the high school experience.

“Homecoming and Winterfest were always a much bigger deal when I was here,” said Mr. Mayo.

Mr. Mayo is one of the few who believe there should be more student involvement during the homecoming assembly.

“Yeah I mean, it’s called a pep assembly, it’s about getting the kids excited,” said Mr. Mayo. “Who’s going to get excited about the royalty, six people don’t represent our entire school.”

For the past couple of years, Lowry administration has had to result in putting the school resource officer in the hallways during assemblies to prevent people from leaving.

“We never skipped our assemblies, now it’s like you have to beg kids to go to these assemblies,” said Mr. Mayo. “But I think that’s a byproduct of what it’s become, no one is excited to go to an assembly to watch the same five things from the last assembly.”

Mayo and many others believe that the right ideas are being brought up they are just not going through the right channels, or there is a loss of communication.

“Just by talking to different student body people that have brought up ideas, it sounds like the ideas are there, they’re just not getting implemented for whatever reason,” said Mr. Mayo.

Some ideas may get lost in communication because they are too complex, or because it may take too much time, or maybe they are afraid of trying new things.

“I mean having talked to people who make the decisions, or supposed to make the decisions, it seems like they have the ideas,” said Mr. Mayo. “I think you just kinda have to try new things.”