Why the Color Wars Won’t End

By Jackie Povitsky

Senior Jackie Povitsky on school spirit.

The week before Homecoming might be the most nerve wracking, exciting week of the school year. Everyone is planning their outfits to go along with the Spirit Days and doing last-minute shopping for the dance. With all this excitement comes a little “friendly” competition between classes.

In my senior year, I wanted to make this Spirit Week the best one yet. It seemed that that was the goal of the rest of my class and even the grades below us, as well. The infamous Color Wars have everyone talking and planning.  In 2011, the Color Wars were officially cancelled.  Unfortunately for those who wish to promote school spirit over class spirit, nobody really cares.  According to tradition, the freshmen wear gray, sophomores white, juniors black, and the seniors red–and we aren’t about to stop anytime soon.

So, what’s the problem with a little competition between classes? Everyone dressed in spirit wear, going all out with face paint and glitter sounds like exactly what student activities director Jessica Ogulnik wanted in her letter.  She said herself that there when she came to Niles West in 2004 no one had any spirit, so she created Color Wars to bring it back. The students soaked it up like a sponge, loving the opportunity to bring some pep back within the walls of West.

The class of 2011 took the whole school spirit thing very seriously, rioting in the halls and tearing down other class decorations. I know that it got out of hand, but that doesn’t mean that the years to come are going to do the same thing. They shouldn’t have to miss out on something that is very memorable in high school. Every class is different and they should have the opportunity to show their school spirit.

This brings me to last week’s Homecoming assembly. This assembly has the highest attendance out of all of the assemblies. It is the one assembly where everyone’s stirring with excitement and on their toes for the performances they get to see. The cheering competitions are always a big factor in revving up the crowd. In past years, the person at the microphone starts off with the usual: “where’s my class of ____?” A little something to get the crowd going; this year, we were all missing that.There was hardly any chance for us to show how much spirit we have for our school, much less our classes.

I know that student government is trying to push school spirit instead of class spirit, but honestly, it’s never going to happen. We all love screaming our year of graduation at the top of our lungs. Senior year is when things really get loud. We love banging on buckets, blowing horns, throwing toilet paper rolls, glitter, spraying silly string, and using thunder sticks. Looking at the pictures from the assembly, the gym looks great with all the flashes of red, white, black, and gray.

The assembly was only an hour long, but there was plenty of time for some quality cheering and class representation. We had a half an hour’s worth of amazing performances, and a half an hour of videos overplaying the new popular song “Gangnam Style.” It’s catchy, I know, but it gets a tad annoying after the third time around. If we had cut back on a little bit of time with all of the videos we could have cheered a lot more. It felt like one of the most important parts of the assembly was missing.

Fast forward to next year, lets hope that the Color Wars are officially brought back; either way, they’re going to happen. The teachers need to know that just because we represent our class, it doesn’t mean we’re not representing our school as a whole.