Student Council Spreads School Spirit

student holds up a sign that reads "Glow Cobras"

BCSD photo / Monica Kreber

Entering Cane Bay High on Friday morning, students did the mandatory temperature checks before walking through the doors.

However, they did not go in empty-handed, as Student Council students greeted them with glow sticks for the “Glow Night”-themed football game later on that day.

“Glow Night” was one of the ongoing themed days Student Council students organized to keep encouraging school spirit at Cane Bay High. Students were given glow sticks to not only wear at school but bring with them to Friday night’s varsity football game against Stratford High, which was the team’s first home game of the school year.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Senior Ellie Huot, Student Body President, said she thinks students are getting more into the Spirit Days this year.

“We’re having a lot more students participate in the dress-up days, and a lot more kids that are showing up to the football games,” she said.

Math teacher Laura McSwain serves as the School Council’s advisor. She said spirit is something that Student Council and the Renaissance Club at Cane Bay High work to promote together.

“The students have definitely put more energy into school spirit this year because we all know that this is a stressful time for everyone,” she said.

While school spirit looks different this year, senior Aniya Nelson, Student Body Vice President, said they still have to push more of it; they try to get their classmates excited for these dress-up days and get them excited about sporting events.

“I definitely think this year it will make a rise in our school,” she said.

Nelson said they still wanted the atmosphere to feel like school – especially for the seniors, and particularly for blended distance learning (BDL) students.

Student Council members are hopeful that eventually they will be able to resume events like pep rallies and school dances.

“It’s not the same as previous years where we can do all these things but…we want you to feel like we care about you,” Nelson said.

Students had to come up with alternative ways to get excited about sports because it is now harder for students to go to away games. They are still planning themed dress-up days for the away games at school; Student Council tested the waters on Sept. 25 with an animal print day.

In October they are planning a “Pink Out” day for breast cancer awareness, and are later planning a Hawaiian-themed day, plus “blackout” attire for Senior Night on Oct. 23 with a home game against Berkeley High.

McSwain said Student Council members have been very happy with how receptive the student body has been with the efforts.

“We feel that we really saw improvements in school spirit last year and were concerned that all efforts would be diminished this year,” she said. “However, what we have seen so far is that a lot of students are looking for a sense of normalcy and comradery and Student Council is happy to provide that.”

The council also wanted to find ways that would incorporate the blended distance learning (BDL) students. They have pitched the Spirit Days to the BDL students and continue to encourage them to virtually submit and post photos of themselves in their spirit gear.

Senior Hadley Terry, publicity chair for student council, has worked to make graphics for the dress-up days in order to garner interest. In addition to posters around the school, the graphics go up online to alert BDL students.

Terry said council is trying to make the most of what the year still has to offer: there is still a student section in the football stadium where students can cheer during the games; the school is still allowing students to run for Homecoming Court; and students are still encouraged to get involved at school.

“I think we’re focusing on what we can do,” she said.

McSwain said she thinks they found an opportunity to increase school spirit through the pandemic.

“We are all going through the pandemic together and I believe that if we continue our efforts we will see a Cane Bay student body united in school spirit,” she said. “This can be pivotal once blended students reintegrate back into the traditional classroom environment.”

McSwain also said her students have done a great job rising to the added challenges.

“I am so privileged to have such an amazing group of kids,” she said. “They started back on day one excited about a new school year despite the circumstances.”