Student-sectionBy Anna-Maria Thalassinos and Maria Grund

Spirit Club aims to reinvigorate student body, bring in new students

The music resonates through the hallways on a typical Friday afternoon. The student body buzzes with excitement for the upcoming weekend’s festivities, which includes the football game. Some students show their school pride by wearing black and gold attire in preparation for that night’s game.

With the new school year well underway, new principal Ryan McClure is leading the push for school spirit.

“[UA] is a great place. I have … been to other places and know that it is really a good place, and we need to celebrate it,” McClure said. “Not only are you taking great classes and getting ready for your future, but it’s supposed to be fun.”

Spirit club is also assisting in the revamping of school spirit through its goal of getting the entire student body involved, spirit club leader Carsyn Hager said.

“We do have one really important goal, which is to get everyone involved. We would love to have everyone—from freshmen all the way to seniors—participating in the school events,” Hager said. “We want people not only supporting the football Bears on friday nights, but also showing their school spirit during the volleyball games and even swim meets.”

Senior football cheerleading captain Emily Miller shares the same goal as spirit club: to get more student involvement.

“My goals are to make sure everyone—including the student section, the parents, the band, and the other cheerleaders—are as involved in Friday night football games as possible,” Miller said.

But not everyone hears the call of cheerleaders like Miller. While students have the potential to be dedicated fans, sophomore Katie Hunter said not everyone is living up to that.

“I think [UA’s school spirit is] pretty average,” she said. “It’s not awful, but we could use a lot more.”

Junior Kevin Baxley said students’ participation at the Aug. 30 pep rally was a good example of the need for more school spirit.

“I think the pep rally showed the potential that our school has to increase spirit,” Baxley said. “I believe the student body must do its part to band together and continue to strengthen spirit in every school event.”

Miller said one way in which school spirit could be improved is in the involvement of students from all grade levels.

“School spirit could be improved if everyone participated. If everyone went to the game[s] and followed the theme,” Miller said. “I would love to see the student section learn some new chants [that] they can do in the bleachers. At away games I see other schools yelling different chants, some even with little dances to go with them. I think it would be fun for everyone to move a little.”

In order to boost participation in themed events, Hager described a new incentive the spirit club has implemented.

“We have decided to give the person who has the best outfit a gift card to a local restaurant. Every friday night, my co-leaders and I will be looking through the stands to see who has the best outfit for the theme, then we will post their picture on our Instagram and Twitter page the following Monday,” Hager said. “We hope this provides a little incentive for students to start dressing up and following the theme of the night.”

Another way in which students can participate in school spirit is in submitting and voting on a school motto. McClure decided to spearhead this project to highlight and increase school spirit and unity. The motto is intended to encompass not only sports, but also other aspects of student life.

Junior Theo Randolph said he thinks the school motto is a great idea because it can unify the school.

“The idea of having a school motto is cool, because it’s a way of taking all the things UA excels in and putting it into one sentence,” Randolph said. “I look forward to seeing what our student body can come up with.

“I think UAHS is decent on spirit right now. We definitely have the [ability] to go huge, but currently it’s just not up to par. We have people who want to be spirited right now, the challenge is going to be organizing that energy in a positive way that everyone can get in on,” Randolph said. “There’s room for improvement in organization and student participation, but potential is definitely there. I’m excited to see how school spirit will pan out this year.”

Image Caption: Members from Spirit Club lead the student section in cheering on the varsity football team during their first home game. Spirit club continues to meet every week and comes up with new ways to get the whole student body involved for any upcoming games and events.

Photo by Kota Ashton