Spirit days don’t need more spirit

I have some thoughts regarding the article titled “Improve school experiences with more spirit” by Aaliyah Yan, published on October 18, 2019.

Personally, I do not agree that school spirit days at Algonquin need more spirit. In fact, school spirit days lack spirit for good reason. What exactly is the purpose of a spirit day? To generate school spirit? Believe it or not, we don’t have to dress up in costumes to generate school spirit. Even without major participation in spirit days, I have found Algonquin to have considerable spirit in my experience. Just go to a sporting event, or a theatrical show, or a musical performance. Algonquin students support each other and take pride in their school in a variety of ways, and spirit days are not an essential part of school spirit.

In fact, there are several reasons as to why so few people participate in school spirit days, many of which are outlined in the article. The most prominent reason for lack of participation is that students may be insecure about wearing silly costumes to school. We are fortunate enough to go to a school without uniforms, and I think students should be able to wear what they want to school and should not be pressured into wearing something that makes them uncomfortable in order to generate artificial school spirit.

In addition, the point is made that “word travels fast in Algonquin” in regards to people deciding not to participate in spirit days, while another reason people don’t participate is “because few people know about it.” I don’t see how so many people can decide not to participate when so few people know of the spirit days in the first place. Furthermore, cited in the last paragraph is the notion of a “mainstream culture of being negative towards school events,” which I have not found to exist outside of dressing up for school spirit days. In my time at Algonquin, attendance at school events, especially those outside of school hours like sports and theater which are entirely optional for students to attend, has always been strong. Algonquin is not lacking in spirit, and students should not feel pressured to dress up on spirit days.

Sam Slovin, Class of 2020