Opinion: Homecoming assembly shows that school must discuss improving homecoming traditions

The+homecoming+assembly+glorifies+the+court+over+the+rest+of+the+students.+Graphic+by+Miranda+Li.
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Opinion: Homecoming assembly shows that school must discuss improving homecoming traditions

The homecoming assembly glorifies the court over the rest of the students. Graphic by Miranda Li.

The homecoming assembly glorifies the court over the rest of the students. Graphic by Miranda Li.

The homecoming assembly glorifies the court over the rest of the students. Graphic by Miranda Li.

The homecoming assembly glorifies the court over the rest of the students. Graphic by Miranda Li.

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On Tuesday, October 6, ASB hosted the annual homecoming assembly. ASB modified this year’s assembly to be more inclusive to the student body in a direct effort to increase class spirit and to address concerns with homecoming court elitism. While ASB’s efforts are commendable, the assembly should be taken as one of many steps to revise homecoming traditions and raise school spirit.

In the assembly, ASB added class competitions that included students not on homecoming court. Along with the traditional lineup of homecoming couple skits, announcements and performances from the dance and cheerleading teams, new competitions included a selfie game in which representatives took a selfie with their respective classes in the least amount of time and a statue game in which students raced to form California-themed positions with a partner.

While entertaining, these competitions were at times disorganized and overly-drawn out. Many students were confused about competition objectives, which lessened audience enthusiasm. However, this was the first year ASB integrated the competitions. ASB should be applauded for initiating this improvement but should look toward logistical improvements for future homecoming assemblies.

Although ASB shortened homecoming skits and homecoming couple announcements to accommodate class competitions, the homecoming couple activities during the assembly continued to glorify couples and did little to redirect focus to the student body. While a celebration of the homecoming court is a valued tradition, ASB should evolve the couples’ activities to coincide with the ideals of school spirit and inclusivity that class competitions strived to achieve this year.

Court activities also contradict school-wide efforts to raise spirit. Although comical, skits are an outdated tradition, and couple announcements are both awkward for the couples and the student body listening. These court-centric activities make it difficult for students outside of court to get involved. Homecoming court traditions are outdated and counter the effect of ASB’s addition of class-centric competitions.

On a grander scale, homecoming traditions go against the values of a modern and forward-thinking school and should no longer be honored for the sake of preserving a tradition. Homecoming court should be eradicated completely and replaced with a new system in which homecoming week is centered around class competition. After all, events like homecoming are great opportunities for the school to band together in celebration of the entire student body rather than 20 members of the senior class that comprise homecoming court. Palo Alto High School has implemented a similar system because of corroborating sentiments on homecoming court.

However, multiple solutions exist, and there is more to be done by the entire community regarding raising school spirit and improving future homecoming assemblies. Genuine and active conversation instigated by ASB’s attempts this year has begun the long process needed to fully address these issues.

Ultimately, revising homecoming tradition should not solely fall on ASB’s shoulders. All members of the school must contribute to this process by initiating conversations about school spirit and homecoming activities and verbalizing their perspectives to make progressive revisions on spirit-stifling traditions. Installing change is beyond the scope of any one student group on campus — only through community-wide concern and discussion about the outdated exclusivity of homecoming court can improvements begin. Now is the time for everyone to talk about these issues, so let’s talk.