McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Opinion: Let’s make this house a Homecoming

Despite occasional complaints, Homecoming is one of the events MCHS gets right because it puts students first
Kennedy Tetour
Football players wait for the float to leave before last year’s Homecoming parade on Oct. 2, 2022 at the Freshman Campus. Each year, school spirit seems to get bigger and bigger during Homecoming because the organizations leading it put students first.

I started this article as a critique of Homecoming at MCHS‭. ‬

I wanted to argue that Homecoming did not have enough student involvement‭, ‬and that the thoughts of the general student body were not taken into consideration when planning the event‭. ‬Homecoming is meant to be a welcome back to the current students and alumni‭, ‬and it should put students first‭. ‬

After some research‭, ‬however‭, ‬I have concluded that Homecoming might be one of the few student events that are done right‭, ‬and uncovered a more interesting‭ (‬and far more pressing‭) ‬issue‭. ‬

School spirit and pride in MCHS is a debatable topic to say the least‭. ‬While plenty of students may tell you that they feel no school pride at all‭, ‬some would say that they love MCHS‭. ‬Some see spirit rallies as just a ticket out of class while others look‭ ‬forward to them‭. ‬

Staff members like English teacher and Activities Director Mitchell Stengel feel that MCHS pride is at a high‭. ‬

“I actually believe that school spirit has been on the rise over the past few years‭,‬”‭ ‬said Stengel‭. ‬“The 2020-2021‭ ‬school year was one of the hardest school years that MCHS had ever experienced‭, ‬and there has only been more and more school-spirited events happening throughout the campus‭, ‬in my opinion‭, ‬over the past three years‭.‬”

However‭, ‬students like junior Lily Adams feel the contrary‭. ‬

“I feel like our school spirit during Homecoming is big and widespread‭, ‬but when that ends it all comes down with it‭.‬”‭ ‬

This sentiment is shared by many students‭. ‬

“I think that football and Homecoming season is definitely a high point of the school year‭,‬”‭ ‬said junior student Jia Shah‭. ‬“It gives something for students to look forward to every week‭, ‬the weather is nice‭, ‬and it is something that the majority of our‭ ‬school shows up for‭. ‬As soon as Homecoming and football season ends‭, ‬there is not anything major that takes place in the winter‭ ‬for students to look forward to‭.‬”

Even with better attitudes in this part of the year‭, ‬students continue to have their gripes about homecoming‭. ‬In particular‭, ‬mixed feelings stirred in 2021‭ ‬over the theme‭ ‬“construction”‭, ‬and choice to hold the event outside‭. ‬

“The Hoco theme of 2021‭ ‬was definitely not one of my favorites‭,‬”‭ ‬said Junior Emma Enslow‭. ‬“The themes during the week didn’t really have anything to it because it really wasn’t the most interesting theme to be a part of at all‭.‬”

However‭, ‬some were positive about the theme‭. ‬

“I actually loved it‭,‬”‭ ‬said Shah‭. ‬“I know there was some controversy over it‭, ‬but I think it was really unique‭.‬”

This is the catalyst of what this article was going to be‭. ‬Students’‭ ‬voices should be taken more into consideration when picking the theme of Homecoming‭, ‬the music of Homecoming and the location to avoid a bad reception‭ ‬‮—‬‭ ‬worsening the school spirit that I believe is already low‭.‬

While I do still think that there could be improvements‭, ‬I think that the Student Council does a good job at keeping the common‭ ‬MCHS student in the loop‭. ‬For example‭, ‬a form to suggest music to be played at the event was sent out on the Council’s Instagram soon after the event theme‭ ‬“Lights‭, ‬Camera‭, ‬Action”‭ ‬was announced‭. ‬

I initially thought there was something wrong with the events planning process‭, ‬and I believe I felt this way because students at MCHS seem to show a unique adversarial attitude towards anything that has an administrative signature on it‭. ‬

“There’s a lot of disrespect between both students and faculty so almost every time there’s some decision made by the school‭, ‬the students are usually against it‭,‬”‭ ‬said Enslow‭.  ‬“They usually rebel against anything the faculty decides‭.‬”

I feel now that I was swept up in the rebellious attitude that the majority of students have‭. ‬While there are plenty of things MCHS does get wrong communication wise with its students‭, ‬Homecoming feels like an enigma‭. ‬It’s position at the beginning of the year‭, ‬and the student led nature of the event through the Student Council makes the event work‭. ‬It does it’s job as a welcome back and makes students feel connected to the school‭. ‬

Student Council Organizer‭, ‬Charlotte Alexander‭, ‬said ticket sales have been on the rise‭. ‬

“They have been exponentially increasing since 2020‭. ‬Last year’s dance sold 1,500-1,600‭ ‬tickets‭, ‬and the projected sales for this year are hundreds higher‭.‬”

This was corroborated by Stengel who claimed that Homecoming has broken its ticket sales record for the past 3‭ ‬years in a row‭. ‬

While I began this article as a piece on how Homecoming needs to be more student involved‭, ‬I found the opposite‭. ‬This exposed an‭ ‬important factor in the student-administrative relationship at MCHS‭. ‬There is a disconnect that’s making the faculty unaware of how the students really feel‭, ‬and making students feel opposed to anything as long as it’s signed off by administrators‭. ‬

With that being said‭, ‬I think it is important that we recognize when something is done right‭, ‬and I think Homecoming is one of those things‭. ‬

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