Spirit assembly gets students excited for the wrong reasons

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Photo by: Sadie Hersh Varsity boys water polo shows some skin in its "Sexy Costume Contest" at the spirit assembly.

Sadie Hersh, co-editor-in-chief
Sydney Tran, staff writer

With Haunted Homecoming swiftly encroaching, it’s only natural that there be an assembly getting students hyped about the week’s coming events; however, this Tuesday’s spirit assembly may have invoked the wrong kind of “excitement.”

While it may seem like a tradition to students who have attended these annual spirit assemblies before to see water polo perform a strip tease and almost every other team dance in their booty shorts, the costumes worn by those on stage (or in this case, on the court) were questionable.

The hyper-sexuality displayed in these assemblies doesn’t contribute to the promotion of school spirit. Rather, it creates an atmosphere of excitement completely oriented around the wrong things.

This calls to mind one strong question: why? Why do members of the student body feel that it’s necessary to exploit physicality in order to strengthen the atmosphere of pride at Beverly?

Administration and ASB did have a say on what constituted an acceptable performance at the assembly, but ultimately, their goal was to allow different programs an outlet through which to express their Norman pride.

“The process behind is that we view all of the videos and make sure that they’re appropriate for our population, and there were a couple of videos that we cut out because we didn’t feel that they were appropriate…We just try not to be a thumb on them and let them try to express themselves…They were just trying to have some fun,” Principal Dave Jackson said.

Despite these guidelines, the assembly seemed to defy dress code and the rules that usually apply to the student body, especially with the seasonally more loosely enforced rules.

“I think that as we look at things we sort of look at it like, because it’s so close to Halloween, our dress code is sort of in effect but not sort of in effect. So I think you need to take a look at the overall picture,” Jackson said.

This does not, however, mean that there were no regulations, as the water polo team was denied their request to wear their speedos.

“Administration told us we couldn’t wear our uniforms, so we wanted to be able to wear something that looked like our uniforms but was allowed, and so being sexy cats and sexy animals was the most creative and expressive way for us to show that. We wanted to wear our uniforms, but we weren’t allowed to,” water polo Captain Blake Ackerman said.

The whole point of this assembly was to raise spirit for the Haunted Homecoming, but the relevance of the acts to the idea of the arousal of Norman spirit did not add up.

In fact, some students in the bleachers of the Swim Gym were uncomfortable watching the performances that were intended to raise spirit.

“During the spirit assembly, I felt rather uncomfortable. Almost every single performance had girls with either ripped clothes, sexy costumes or really tight clothes….If I was an adult I would feel even more uncomfortable,” junior Andrea Di Battista said. “I do believe that teens should wear whatever they want without being judged, but wearing revealing clothes in a school assembly will not raise spirit.”

Despite criticism, cheer feels that their performance and outfits were not only relevant, but also served the purpose of piquing school spirit.

“ASB told us they wanted to incorporate the ‘Time Warp’ into the assembly, so we thought it would be cool to dress up as different characters from the time warp and dance along to the song like they did in the movie,” cheer member Michelle Pisnoy said. “I think our skit raised people’s spirits because it was a very upbeat song and dance that people could follow along to if they wanted to.”

The deliberate choosing of these skimpy outfits may be indicative of the intention to impress with a lack of clothing, but at a school event, it’s confusing as to what the intentions truly were and why the performers may have felt that these scraps of clothing would appeal to the people who hold dedication to the school, both students and faculty.

While their costumes may have been questionable, teammates and assembly performers’ intentions were simply to entertain the student body.

“It was supposed to make everybody laugh,” Ackerman said. “We could have done a better skit, but we had to dance and we had to be funny, so that was just the funniest dance we came up with.”

Although the skits were harmless and lighthearted, there was no true promotion of spirit, and left some students disconcerted.

At the same time, however, the assembly was a general success considering the circumstances. The Swim Gym is a great place to cheer on sports teams, but proved to be unfit for a performance with its terrible acoustics. The organizers and acts coped well with the limitations placed on them by the unavailability of the assembly’s usual home.

Spirit assemblies should not be known for the risque costumes the student performers wear, but rather for the simple reason of lifting the school’s spirits and pumping the student body up for the homecoming game and its preceding tailgate. The positive mindset of Beverly should come from dedication to the school, not from the selective lack of clothing worn at the assembly.

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