The Coat of Arms

Changes to Annual Spirit Week Themes

Menlo+students+competing+in+dodgeball+on+color+day+last+year.+Staff+Photo%3A+Bella+Scola.
Menlo students competing in dodgeball on color day last year. Staff Photo: Bella Scola.

Menlo students competing in dodgeball on color day last year. Staff Photo: Bella Scola.

Menlo students competing in dodgeball on color day last year. Staff Photo: Bella Scola.

Page Wolfenden, Staff Writer

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This year, Menlo’s spirit week sees changes in the daily dress-up themes, spurring mixed feelings from Menlo students. In the past, spirit week has consisted of basically the same annual spirit days: muscle Monday, a differing theme on Tuesday, wacky Wednesday, color-war Thursday and Menlo Friday. Alongside Assistant to the Upper School Director Frances Ferrell and the rest of the student council officers, including President Marianne Siulangapo, Vice President Santy Mendoza, and Secretary/Treasurer Jake Martin, Activities Coordinator Izzy Banatao decided it was time for a change.

Students cheer for their peers during a spirit activity on Wacky Wednesday last year. Photo courtesy of Pete Zivkov.

This year we wanted to specify by each grade and just have a little more individual grade spirit,” Banatao said. “I have had a list of spirit days since the beginning of the year […] and then came up with this list of five days and got them approved by the student body officers. That is myself, Marianne, Santy and Jake.”

Instead of every grade dressing up in general athletic attire on muscle Monday, each grade now has its own sports league. Freshman are the NBA, sophomores are MLB, juniors are AYSO and seniors are the NFL. Tuesday remains the same as it has been in the past, with a theme that differs among grades, this year being different decades. Freshman are the 1980s, sophomores are the 1950s, juniors are the 1920s, and seniors are the early 2000s. Another alteration made to increase individual grade spirit was replacing wacky Wednesday with destinations day, in which freshman dress up for Texas, sophomores for New York City, juniors for Mount Everest and seniors for Madagascar. The last change made to spirit week is the grade colors on color day. What used to be green, purple, blue and gold, in subsequent order of the grades, is now white, blue, silver and gold.

Menlo students watching a spirit activity on color day last year. Photo courtesy of Hailey Tsuda

Overall I think that change is something good, but it could also be seen as a bad thing because I know that a lot of people are unhappy with the colors,” Banatao said. “[The student council officers] just wanted to do something new.”

There has been a range of student opinions surrounding the new additions to spirit week. Some students have critiques for the new themes, including junior Eavan Murray. “I think I prefered the old spirit week because it was more traditional, specifically with color day. I liked the look of having a bunch of different colors rather than white and silver,” Murray said. Freshman Uma Misha added her opinion on the matter. “[The new spirit days] are not my favorite. I was kind of excited for wacky wednesday and I also feel like white is a boring color,” Misha said. Junior Quentin Chisholm sees positives and negatives in the changes: “I am excited for trying out new costumes and things to wear, but I think that I am also really going to miss wacky wednesday because that was my favorite.”

Juniors dressed in blue on color day last year. Photo courtesy of Pete Zivkov.

While students do have their criticisms, many are in support of the new themes, including Junior Adam Kasser. “I like how every grade has a different theme each day,” Kasser said. Also in support of the idea of grade differentiation is sophomore Ellie Gruber. “I think the sports theme on Monday is cool because it lets each grade express something different,” Gruber said. Banatao’s positive outlook on change rings true with junior Kendall Weingart. “I think [the new themes] are really fun and it’s cool to have a change because its been the same for so long,” Weingart said.

Head of School Than Healy shared his support for the changes. “I a very much looking forward to spirit week this year precisely because there are some new elements to look forward to,” Healy said in an email. “I think the seniors are doing an outstanding job of bringing a sense of spirit to campus.”

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