As seen in the January 24 issue.
Marguerite Alberts, spotlight editor
When the majority of people who have never been to California hear “Beverly Hills,” they don’t automatically think of Beverly Hills High School. In fact, that’s probably the last thing they think of, if they think of it at all. Or if they do, it’s in relation to a fictional television show. Instead, they jump to words associated with the music and film industry. They think “Hollywood,” “movies,” “celebrities,” “television” and all sorts of stereotypes including but not limited to “rich,” “snotty” and “arrogant.” Our school does not have its own character to outsiders because it resides within such a high-profile city. Alternately, it blends into the city’s character.
It’s time Beverly makes a name for itself. Although academics and sports and competitions are three great ways to make most schools well-known, they aren’t enough to achieve this goal for Beverly. For our school, the best place to start is within. We are too often assumed to be something out of a television show rather than a normal public school. Before we can start to have our own distinctiveness as a school, we need to be unified. Students need to feel a sentimental connection to our school. They work, eat meals, see their friends, participate in activities they enjoy (and others that they can’t stand) all at school. When taking into account the amount of time students spend at school, Beverly should be considered their home away from home.
One of the most effective ways of establishing sentimental feelings towards Beverly is by selling more merchandise that promotes the school and encouraging students to buy it. Merchandise is like “putting a face to a name.” Products as small as a keychain or as large as a flag allow outsiders to recognize a label and to get an actual idea of a place that they have always imagined, but may have never actually seen. Furthermore, merchandise provides something tangible for students to remember the school by. It allows them to physically wear their pride for all to see. Plenty of students have some sort of sweatshirt or T-shirt or another article of clothing that represents an activity or a club that they are a part of. It’s terrific that students they want to advertise the things they are involved in.
However, there is a noticeable lack in gear being worn by students representing the school itself. Students shouldn’t just be showing off the organizations they are involved in. Yes, those organizations are part of the school, but they tie students more to the individual groups that they are involved in rather than the school itself, ergo they feel connected to only that small part of the larger school. They should want to wear clothing and other commodities that demonstrate a link to the place where they spend the majority of their teenage years.
Part of the issue may be that there is little advertisement for school-themed gear. Although students are constantly directed to the student store when in need of an ASB card or when paying for AP tests or prom tickets, there is very little advertising for the other merchandise at the shop. What marketing is present clearly fails to gain the attention of the student body.
Perhaps ASB can work toward increasing sales by using the numerous social media sites it has at its disposal. A suggestion would be to host an entire week dedicated to getting students to be enthusiastic at school by sharing their favorite school-spirited products. Each day will promote a certain type of good. For example, Wednesday could be Waterbottle Wednesday. Then, students would take a picture of themselves and their favorite merchandise in regards to that day’s specifications, post the picture and tag ASB. This event could be used as a means of promoting another upcoming event or it could be an independent occurrence that could happen at any time during the year. The incentive for students is that it combines three actions that teenagers love: showing off their gear, taking pictures of themselves and detailing their lives on the internet.
In any case, the end result would be an increase in school pride which would then result in an identity that is unique to Beverly and not to Beverly Hills.