Spirit Week(s) 2018 Explained


Colby Lima

The 2015 Pep Rally was one for the record books.

It is widely agreed upon that Spirit Week is the highlight of the fall season at Dartmouth High. Five days of wearing weird costumes and enjoying how incredibly ridiculous everyone looks, all leading up to the pep rally, where although the freshmen get booed and the seniors always win, fun is still had.

This year, a change was made to the beloved tradition. Instead of being one straight week of school, Spirit Week is starting Thursday the 16th, and running through Wednesday the 22nd, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving break. This decision was made by Associate Principal Rachel Chavier, Athletic Director Jeff Caron, and Dean Michael Martin at the end of last school year, despite the rumor being that it was new Principal Ross Thibault who was behind the change. Although not involved in the alteration, he was able to clarify several other misconceptions spread among the students.

The most popular rumor about the date change of Spirit Week was that the change would increase attendance at the Thanksgiving day football game. However, Mr. Thibault disagrees with that claim. “They wanted to improve the spirit on the days leading up to the Thanksgiving game,” he said, “but the decision was not made because they wanted people to go to the game.”

Another concern was whether or not the Thanksgiving Brunch and the end-of-spirit-week pep rally were both going to be held, considering they would be occurring on the same day. Mr. Thibault confirmed that neither event would be cancelled, and Ms. Chavier, being the associate principal who oversees the clubs and activities, is currently working to put together a suitable schedule to accommodate the busy half-day.

Junior Charlotte Correiro described the reasoning behind combining the two activities, after having discussed the topic at the Principal’s Advisory meeting. “Having pep rally at the end of the day on Friday usually takes up most of 4th block, therefore taking away from that class,” she said. “Whereas having it on a day that is already incredibly short doesn’t take away from learning nearly as much.”

Sure enough, there is next to nothing accomplished scholastically on that day before Thanksgiving, given that we are only in school for a few hours.

However, such a monumental change in the venerated event has garnered a variety of reactions.

Some are feeling rather indifferent about the situation, such as junior Nina Lamarre, who feels that splitting up the week isn’t a big deal. “We’re still having Spirit Week, it’s not as though they’re getting rid of it,” she said.

Senior Lila Hamilton agrees with not finding fault with the situation, to an extent.  “I would prefer it to be all in one week. It really helps build the overall spirit,” she said. “However, it’s still Spirit Week no matter what.”

Various anonymous sources don’t care much about the event at all, claiming that it’s boring and doesn’t mask the fact that we still have to go to classes as usual.

Overall, the response has been mostly negative.

“I’ve heard a lot of seniors complain that it is ruining their last year because they don’t get to experience the full week of spirit,” said junior Samantha Moniz. “It’s all broken up due to the weekend, making it less enjoyable.”

Given many people find fault with the new Spirit Weeks, there’s a possibility that it may be returned back to a solid week next year. “I’m certainly open to any feedback the students have,” said Mr. Thibault, when told about the controversy. “Let’s get through this year’s first and see how it goes, and yes, if students overwhelmingly feel like it was a flop and they want to go back to the way it was then certainly we can have that discussion.”