The Student Activities Board sweats throughout the year to provide campus-wide parties, open mic nights, trips out of town, and fun runs. For that, we should all say thank you. But spirit week has dorm-dwelling students saying “have mercy” as they compete in, or totally ignore, the eight events squeezed into a single week.
It hasn’t always been this way. Though an official record of spirit weeks past does not exist, Director of Student Activities Ashlyn Landherr said the events campus has competed in this year grew out of a smaller homecoming agenda that, in 2009, consisted only of golf cart-decorating competition followed by a parade of the festive vehicles.
Today, students bank their volunteer hours, pose for a photo, chow down on wings, tape together a trophy, film and edit a video, create a masterpiece out of a banner, and, of course, put hours of practice into a dance routine that will inevitably, if history proves anything, lose to Simpson.
Some students do enjoy themselves in the craze of spirit week.
“I’ve gotten to get to know people better and create community,” sophomore Adelaide Holmes said. “It’s fun to have a cause to fight for.”
Spirit week can be a lot of fun, and if it bonds students together, then it’s probably worth it. But it can also be a lot of work — too much work for a competition that has nothing to do with alumni coming back to Hillsdale.
“Homecoming is a lot of fun, and it’s a good way to bring the residents together in a particular dorm, or different dorms together. It’s really beneficial for resident life,” Benzing Head Resident Assistant Macy Mount said. “But for the residents and particularly the RAs, it’s really hard work, and a huge time commitment.And it sometimes puts more stress on RAs than I think is necessary.”
Student Activities Board needs to scale back spirit week competitions by cutting at least half of this year’s events. Mock rock itself demands so many hours that it should be complemented only by easy and quick events like the photo, the trophy, and maybe the banner.
Homecoming week should not feel like hell week. It’s time to reign in the fun before it gets even more out of hand.