A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Homecoming: Divided or United?

As the first signs of autumn begin to turn the summer heat into fallen leaves, high schools prepare themselves to initiate their first big event of the year: the Homecoming dance. Class councils nationwide bring out the art supplies and tools in an effort to represent the school spirit that rises up every mid-September, with decorations and designs to show off the artistic ability of the student body.

For some schools, this means the collective populous of students banding together to decorate the school with one unifying product. For others – as Northview does – the theme is factioned off by grade, with all four of the parts forming the entire theme in the end. This decision is a missed opportunity. Northview should use Homecoming decorating as a time to unite the student body under one effort. 

For Northview, choosing the Homecoming theme requires two steps: deciding on an overall theme, and ensuring that theme can be divided into four pieces for each grade. This creates an unnecessary hassle for decorating. Why should we intentionally limit ourselves to this constriction? Why should the theme have four rigid categories to be spread around? Removing the need for division would allow student creativity to flow more organically.

The conception of the theme would be more open and varied than with the constriction. It would allow for one broad category to be explored by the whole body, rather than individual parts. This broadness provides artistic liberty to the students, to choose whatever aspect of the theme they would like to explore for their decorations. In addition, many four-part themes are not split equally. These themes follow a trend of a good idea given to the senior class, with the next ideas becoming progressively more difficult to decorate. The hardest is left for the most inexperienced group of members, the freshmen. This is unnecessary. The alternative method would have one single, high quality idea that the council could be excited for – a far better deal for all of the involved grades.

Grade levels of high school are, for the most part, routinely divided. There are some exceptions, certainly – generalist classes like Physical Education, or electives with one period like AV Tech – but a student will find themselves most commonly around their own grade. Being around those the same age as you makes sense. However, this simultaneously calls out the idea that there isn’t any need to divide the grades further. In the face of constant separation, Homecoming would provide the ideal chance to allow classes to intersect and work together. Students could be organized together into small groups with a variety of knowledge and ability, where strengths could build on one another. The experienced seniors would advise the rising underclassmen, while the newer students would provide a fresh outlook on ideas and decisions. Working in tandem, these diverse students would form a strong unit capable of producing both a cooperative environment and a higher quality output.