School Spirit: an Uphill Battle During Pandemic

February 3, 2021

Culture, News

By Shayanne Spell

Music fills the room as scholars walk in to the dimly lit commons. The night is filled with fun music, talking, laughing, dancing, or all three. It’s part of the high school experience and over the years ASK scholars have worked to incorporate after-school events into the school year. Unfortunately, because of Covid-19 restrictions school dances and other in-person activities are events that many high school students have not been able to participate in for nearly a year now.

Emma Easton, the Dance Committee and Scholar Government president said, “We are of course hopeful to have a prom at the end of the year and all the festivities surrounding it, but are aware that may not be a possibility.”

Although prom might not happen, there have been other virtual events that ASK clubs have sponsored, like game nights, a movie nights, a baking event, and a spirit week. This Thursday evening, there will be another virtual game night, and soon there will be a spirit week, a Valentine’s Day giveaway, and possibly a talent show. There are also ideas for drive-up events, but that has yet to be approved by administration.

Although these events have been happening, there has been a struggle to get scholars there. “There is, of course, going to be a struggle virtually because we can’t advertise our events like we usually do,” Eason said. Hanging posters in the hallways and going into Career Pathways courses to announce the events was much more effective than just posting it online, she said.

For now, club leaders are using the weekly announcements, the ASK Catalyst Instagram page, and the Scholar Government Instagram page. As for the turn out of the events, Vice President Ziven Lopez said, “Based on the circumstances, I think we are doing pretty well so far, we would like to get more of a turn out.”

The events that are happening now are mostly for high school students, as game nights need more project managers to chaperone those. Although for some movie nights middle schoolers have been able to come and on those nights there is a greater turnout, as they seem more enthusiastic than high schoolers.

11th grader Jacob Sandusky said, “This year, while I have significantly more free time in my schedule, I go to significantly fewer events. Mostly because the events just aren’t worth going to.”

Students say they miss the face-to-face interactions and  privileges that they had at in-person events. Watching a movie with friends and seeing their reactions is part of the excitement. It’s also tough for students to want to get back online after being virtual for school all day.

Clubs and organizations are also missing out on the traveling aspect of being part of a club like Model UN or the Governor’s STEM Challenge. Senior Kish Bhakta said, “There’s something about traveling out of the city with your friends and going to conferences that I’m sure everyone missed.”

 Although there has been a struggle to get people to their events, Easton still sees it as a success. She said:

“I don’t think the more people that come means the more successful the event is. What makes our event successful is how happy those in attendance are,.” she said. 

This Thursday, February 4, Scholar Government will host another game night. Email eeaston@theaskacademy.org for more information.

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