Spirit Preparations Underway

Written By Millicent Sampson-Eves

Berkeley High School’s (BHS) first Spring Spirit Week will take place during the week of May 30 to June 2, marking the second round of school spirit activities this year.

The week will kick off on Tuesday with Decades Day, where freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors wear clothing inspired by the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, respectively.

During lunch, leadership will hold a soccer tournament and host the creation of a BHS “time capsule” with video footage of the day.

Following Decades Day will be Wild West Wednesday. Students wear clothing associated with the Wild West, such as boots, denim, and flannel. At lunch, in the courtyard, there will be a country line dancing world record attempt to the tune of “Cotton Eye Joe.” There will be a line dancing tutorial on the Community Theater Steps after school on Tuesday.

On Beach Day, students are encouraged to “get into the summer vibe” with “appropriate warm weather wear.” Free bike repairs and smoothies will be offered at lunch in the courtyard.

Finally, Friday will be Red & Gold Day. Students can display their Jacket pride by wearing BHS apparel or school colors. During third period, an all school assembly will take place in the Donahue Gym, and at lunch, there will be performance by BHS alumnus Chris “C5” Pressly and a dance party.

Spring Spirit Week is a project of the Associated Student Body (ASB) Leadership Team and Director of Student Activities John Villavicencio.

Amber Lee, ASB Commissioner of Social Activities, said, “I want adults on campus to trust students so that in the future there will be many more assemblies, rallies, [and] fun social activities.”

According to Lee, there is a lack of communication and trust between BHS administrators and students, and this spirit week can function as a way to prove that students can unify and celebrate without drug or alcohol use.

Spring Spirit week also aims to balance out the school year in terms of sports recognition. “There’s a perception that whatever fall assembly we have had around spirit has mostly been for fall sports, specifically football,” Villavicencio said.

Spring Spirit Week will work to celebrate the other two seasons of the BHS athletic calendar.

The all-school assembly will recognize the accomplishments of Spring and Winter athletes and teams, and will also include dance and alumni performances.

At the assembly, the audience will be invited to sing the BHS “fight song,” which is already a staple chant for some sports teams.

In past years, there have been very few all-school gatherings in the gym. Villavicencio said that this spirit assembly may be an opportunity to test out the possibility of more such celebrations, like a traditional homecoming.

Regarding the all school assembly, ASB President Julia Schwartz said “We just want people to have fun and show pride for their school.”

With the pilot Spring Spirit Week comes general guidelines for student behavior, including a request that outfits be appropriate and conscious the school environment. “Be aware of the clothing that you’re putting on no matter what day it is,” Villavicencio said.

“We can’t police all the individual decisions so it’s really putting out the message of each individual taking responsibility for what they’re putting on their body, or not putting on their body,” he continued.

Additionally, in an effort to preempt social anxiety associated with spirit week outfits, Villavicencio emphasized that dress-up days aim to provide an outlet for students to be creative with what they can find in their closets or can buy with ten dollars or less. Students are discouraged from going on expensive shopping sprees to prepare for the week.

To supplement student outfits, a limited supply of red “Jacket Pride” t-shirts will be offered for five dollars in the leadership office.

Overall, the goal of this second spirit week is to inspire inventiveness and enjoyment on the BHS campus.

Villavicencio hopes to make the Spring Spirit Week an annual tradition with high levels of student participation.

“All we are trying to do is slowly build a culture in a way where students feel happy to go to school, [and] they feel like there’s some place for them,” Villavicencio said.

Updates on Second Spirit Week will be distributed  through student email, and made available on the BHS leadership website and through the @Jacket__Pride Twitter account.