Is Olympic Heights student body lacking school spirit?


Miss OH, Isabella Grippo, with the OH Lion.

School spirit allows students to participate in and create a large and involved community. Spirit days and weeks are meant to be an outlet for the stress school can create, allowing for students to have fun and be creative while interacting with their peers. Overall, school spirit increases the morale of a school and creates an opportunity for students to feel a stronger sense of belonging within the school community. 

At Olympic Heights. the Student Government Association, under the supervision of social studies teacher Ms. Chelsea Fink, works with the administration and other staff members to organize the pep rallies, choose the spirit days, and encourage school spirit. 

However, in recent years the OH student population has not seemed as spirited as SGA might have hoped. On well-advertised spirit days, it is common to go into a classroom of 30 students and find only one or two dressed according to the theme. 

Over the past two spirit weeks, the number of OH students participating has been hardly noticeable.  In visiting over 10 classes across all grade levels during the most recent Spirit Week, The Torch staff found that in each class there was an average of two students dressed in that day’s theme.

The student apathy towards Spirit Weeks seems to be self-perpetuating as several students indicated that they don’t dress up on spirit days because so few other students do, and they don’t want to stand out. For those who do dress up, it had become disheartening that so few other students do. 

Nevertheless, the students who do dress up on spirit days and capitalize on the opportunity to participate in school activities maintain a better sense of community and genuine enjoyment at school. According to the Connecticut Association for Schools, “Students with school spirit do more than show support for their school. They perform better academically, are more socially and civically engaged, and are happier in general than their less-spirited peers.” 

Additionally, while some OH teachers, such as science teacher Ms. Sarah Rew, are known for their participation in spirit weeks, The Torch has found that they are amongst the minority of the faculty and administration.

SGA would love to see an increase in school spirit and more involvement at different school events!” Fink comments. “It is something that we talk about and are actively working on all of the time.”