ASB revamps rally week with Winter Olympic theme

Around 70 students gathered around a circle of chairs in the middle of the plaza at lunch, Feb. 5. Excited cheers filled the air as representatives from each year battled against each other in an intense game of musical chairs. It was the first day of a week filled with games leading up to the Winter Informal.

In years past, the weeks leading up to school dances have been the same as the years before. There are spirit days accompanied by a singular table in the middle of the plaza with the purpose of collecting spirit points. At the end of the week, the student body gathers in the gym and watches a rally put on by ASB.

But this year, ASB set out to rewrite the general approach to these weeks.

After listening to student opinion, ASB identified the aspects of these weeks that they wanted to change. According to Adrianne McWilliams (11), ASB president and former rally commissioner, feedback from the student senate, polls on social media, and word of mouth has led them to see that the rallies were too centered around storylines in the past.

“The feedback that we’ve gotten from students is that they want [the rallies] to be more based on games,” she said. “We’re focusing on the competition aspect of it and we’re trying to listen to the student voice and give them what they want.”

As the storyline aspect of the rally was scrapped, ASB planned for the spirit days and the week itself to revolve around games and competitions, generally themed after the Winter Olympics. This allowed for more opportunities for the classes to gain spirit points.

Promoting the year-long competition involving spirit points was an additional reason why ASB decided to change its approach to rallies and the weeks leading up to them, according to Savannah Lozano (10), one of ASB’s rally commissioners that were in charge of organizing the event.

“What we want students to take away from this rally is the fact that spirit points can actually get you somewhere,” Lozano said. “There’s an incentive at the end of the year for the class with the most spirit points. It’s also about making this a more stress-free environment by getting kids to play games or to dress up for things that can also reward you at the end of the year [with spirit points].”

In total, 28 students were able to participate in the competitions during the rally, and 93 class representatives participated in the four lunchtime games.

By increasing the number of students involved, McWilliams said she hopes that the student body feels a greater level of connection with each other.

“We want students to feel connected on our campus,” McWilliams said. “We want them to look at our events and feel like they’re a part of it, so we want [the events] to include crowd interactive games. It’s really cool to look at an event and see your friends competing so we wanted to pull [out] as many people as we could.”

Addressing the changes that they felt necessary, ASB hoped to let the entire week leading up to the Winter Informal reach its full potential and bring the classes together.

“Never before have we really pushed the whole competition aspect as it’s never really been the entire class being able to participate,” Lozano said.

As the rally week and informal dance came to a close, ASB took time to reflect on the changes that were made.

“We pushed our limits more than ever before,” Lozano said. “All of our spirit points, activities, the rally, and the dance have gone way more successfully than we had initially anticipated. ”

Lozano said that the student feedback that they have received regarding the games, rally, and dance so far has been mostly positive.

“We are hearing some really good feedback from our students about how we [approached the week],” Lozano said. “We are discussing areas that we could improve and we are very excited to use these learning experiences to improve next time.”

According to Lozano, students had positive feedback regarding the increased number of competitions.

Following the intense game of musical chairs, Feb. 5, Sean Land (12) said he could feel greater connection between the students among the music, running, and cheers.

“I think everybody gets really excited about these games,” he said. “Just looking around and seeing people from all [the] classes here to support people from their class, I think it’s a really great thing and we should keep doing it.”