Change to athletic spirit-wear policy

Posted: March 4, 2012

Athletic spirit-wear policy re-evaluated

Sudent and faculty commitees made the decision

Meara Cummings, Talon staff writer

As many of you have noticed, athletic spirit days, when sports teams choose a theme-based outfit to wear on game days, have changed this year. The new policy, as stated in the student handbook, emphasizes the need for students’ dress to reflect their “support of involvement in a school-related activity” as well as “the spirit of the activity”. Why was this change made?

Two committees, one made up of students and one made up of faculty members, were formed last year to re-evaluate the school’s dress code, which includes everyday dress code as well as the athletic spirit-day policy.

“The two committees decided that the spirit-wear thing was getting to be too much,” said Dean of Students Lance Johnson. “There was too much dress going on that had nothing to do with the sporting event and also didn’t honor our dress code. Some of the dress did honor the code but just to streamline it a bit, both committees decided that we were going to make it more team oriented.”

The goal of the change to the policy was to “streamline” the athletic spirit days, meaning limiting the dress to only warm-ups, uniforms, specific spirit-wear for the team, or “dress nice” days.

Though the change may make some sense, it will take away a lot of fun for the teams. Take for example, the softball team, who has become known not just for their skill but also for their crazy spirit on game days.

“My favorite spirit wear of all time was last year when we had Jersey Shore spirit day,” said senior captain Nessie Toye. “Coach DiNardo is from Jersey so it became sort of an inside joke on our team, so we decided to dress up like them. It was such a good time.”

Though Jersey Shore day may not have been very relevant to the sport of softball itself, it was relevant for the team because their coach is from Jersey and it was a fun way for the girls to show their enthusiasm and publicize their game.

“I absolutely love doing spirit because it gets each member of the team pumped up and excited to play that particular sport,” Toye added. “In softball we love to have a crazy but good time and it just adds to that craziness and fun. Spirit gets us excited for games especially and that’s very important to get positively ready for a game.”

We at the Talon agree with the idea that the committees had to change the spirit-days to make them more relevant to the sport itself, but we argue that there could possibly be more dress code enforcement or restrictions on spirit days rather than just getting rid of the creativity altogether. Spirit-days, in our opinion, are a chance for the captains to come up with something fun, a way for the team to bond and a great publicity opportunity for games. Eliminating the creative part of spirit-days and strictly encouraging only warm-ups, uniforms, dress nice days or the teams specific spirit-wear also puts a lot of pressure on families to purchase the sweatshirts, sweatpants, t-shirts, etc. that the teams offer at the beginning of the season which can add up to be quite expensive.

“We realize it takes some of the creativity away from you guys, but we also said that it’s going to take more creativity now to figure out what to do,” said Johnson.

This year, teams are going to have to work a little harder to come up with new ways to publicize their games at school and although the change will take away a fun part of their season, Toye stressed that the softball girls are still excited to represent their sport at school.

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