Reviving School Spirit

School spirit has been down since March 2020, coinciding with the beginning of the pandemic. 

Due to online school, mask-wearing and social distancing, being able to hold functions to promote school spirit has been difficult. 

For Erica Lapreay, president of the class of 2022, the “downfall” came her sophomore year, when Sadies, the annual sophomore dance, “fell through” due to COVID. This was unfortunate since the class was not able to collect ticket money, which, according to Lapreay, helps fund other major school spirit events later, like prom. 

The Class of 2023 student government is facing a similar issue. After spending weeks planning a dance for Friday, January 7, 2022, it was canceled due to COVID-19 fears.

Mia Scully, secretary of the Class of 2023, says that her class “has not had [a dance] since freshman year.” This “is crazy” to Scully because as of now, they have only had one dance before their prom.

“We’ve been trying our best to have in-person things,” Scully says. Unfortunately, due to Fairfield Public School’s COVID protocols, those events are very limited. 

Other students have also noticed a change in school spirit. Ava Palmieri, a current senior, says that her “freshman year was the year for school spirit.” That was in 2018! “We don’t have pep rallies anymore, we don’t have Battle of the Houses, we don’t have much” Palmieri says, and COVID is the main reason why. 

Fairfield Ludlowe Head Principal, Greg Hatzis, has also noticed the effect that COVID has had on school spirit events. “Battle of the Houses,” he says, “was also a traditional source of tremendous school spirit, but we have not been able to gather the whole school in one location for two consecutive springs.”

Hatzis also says that “students always seem to rally around successful sports teams.” With the current COVID restrictions, however, that has been difficult to do. 

Claire Davenport, one of the Falcon’s Nest leaders, emphasizes how difficult it is to rally school spirit around sports right now since students are not able to attend most games. 

“Knowing in previous years it has been so fun” and not being able to recreate that experience is extremely difficult, Davenport says. “I feel so bad for the underclassmen,” she says, since they are not able to have the same experience as the juniors and seniors once had. 

Despite all of the events we cannot do because of COVID, there are still plenty of ideas that can happen safely. Scully says that we should try to do more “school spirit days,” where “we have everybody dress in pajamas or school spirit-wear.”

The Class of 2023 student government is also planning some school-wide fundraisers, like being able to purchase roses for people for Valentine’s Day. According to Scully, they are “focusing on fundraisers to raise money” for prom and to give students “something for them to do.”

Palmieri suggests that Battle of the Houses “could be broadcasted,” which is not ideal, but better than nothing! She also says that “decorating the hallways with school pride would be fun,” even if Battle of the Houses did not happen. It would get everyone involved and excited about their part in our school community.

Additionally, a school spirit week would help increase school spirit. Each day could involve a fun dress-up day, like ‘crazy hat day!’ or ‘blue and white only dress-up day.’ It would include everyone and generate excitement within the school body.

While COVID may have thrown us off our school spirit game for a few months, it’s time to step up and revive Falcon Pride to its fullest capacity. As Hatzis says, “Ditch caring about cool and just care about fun and being proud of your home high school – no matter what it is.  Go Falcons!”