BSGE has its fair share of extracurricular clubs such as Ping Pong, the Bacc Rag (join! we need writers!) and Helping Hands, but a new after school school club has emerged to address the need for school spirit. In the past month, two people from each advisory (grades 7-12) have been elected into a School Spirit Student Council organized by Ms. Jackson’s advisory, though their progress in electing students for the council has been slow and steady, still under work. The first meeting will be on Monday, December 17th at 2:20. The purpose of this council is to try “to bring students together to do something as a school,” said Ms. Jackson, BSGE’s yoga/dance teacher and now supervisor of the new spirit council. The idea sprouted from her advisory while discussing ways to build school spirit and after some e-mails to teachers and more opinions on how to solve this issue, they came up with the innovative solution of the new student council for the entire school. This idea has only been done once in the history of BSGE, the council started out well with a powerful goal, but nothing was ever achieved. This type of student council is quite a common and popular in most high schools.
The basic idea of the Spirit Council is that two people from each advisory are elected and act as representatives for their advisory to come together once a month after school to talk about ideas on how to build school spirit. Each advisory has freedom to choose its representatives. Mr. Saha and Ms. Matani’s advisories elected students by having debates, speeches, and class votes.
At best, having advisories vote can create enthusiasm and excitement about the organization. At worst, it could simply become a popularity contest. So far, the voting in advisories has not seemed to degenerate into a battle of social hierarchy. Ian Ryding, a 10th grade student who was runner up in his advisory’s vote, commented, “I believe it is hard to judge whether or not it [elected student representation] creates a competitive environment as every class did things differently. Some classes only had two student running and others had 4 or 5”.
As a small school of around 75 kids per grade, BSGE does an satisfactory job of creating school spirit with “Spirit Week” and occasional school events. But the school events we have such as cafegymatorium dance parties or Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments are not to bring students together but to make profit for things like field trips and other events like prom or senior trip. The Spirit Council hopes to achieve other projects such as a cultural potluck night or a school street fair: meaningful events that embrace students to have enthusiasm about their school and peers. A 10th grade member of the School Spirit Student Council concluded, “I think it’s a great idea and I’m excited to see what projects we’ll be doing soon”.