Editorial: School should increase campus spirit efforts

Complaining about lack of school spirit among the student body is a common past time at Akins.

Students like to talk about how lame this or that event is going to be even though they don’t even give it a chance.

Yes, sometimes there are legitimate concerns about attractive advertising that will appeal to students.

For example, some of the fliers that are taped to lockers across the campus leave a lot to be desired. And it’s certainly not enough to make a few intercom announcements or place hastily designed fliers around campus when promoting an event.

That said the Eagle’s Eye believes there are some solutions that can be implemented during the next school year that can help to improve student participation in activities and events, making Akins a more enjoyable place to go to school.

No. 1: Increase Student Council Involvement

Many students don’t even know that we have a Student Council. The presence of the organization seemed to be severely lacking this year. We cannot recall an event — other than Spirit Week and pep rallies — that Student Council was involved in organizing or promoting this year, and that’s a problem.

We believe that the best way to improve school spirit is for next year’s Student Council leadership to make student activities and events its top priority. We believe that being a member of the Student Council should be something more than just something to list on a résumé. We want our next student council to take on big projects like organizing fun events that the entire campus can participate in.

We realize that StuCo members are typically busy students and that they may not know how to put on an event, but we would like to see them try to do more than just the requisite picking of these days for one week out of the year before a big football game.

We believe that StuCo has a special role to play in encouraging student participation. If StuCo takes the lead, we believe other student organizations will get involved if students are able to have input and a role to play in making it a success.

No. 2: Friendly Academy Competitions

One of our greatest strengths at Akins is our academy system. Our academies make Akins unique and help give a sense of identity to students who might otherwise be lost in a campus of more than 2,700 students.

Let’s capitalize on this academy structure by starting some friendly competitions between students that are not all sports related. We are tired of only having pep rallies related to supporting our athletic teams. When we only focus our spirit events around sports, we leave many students

who do not participate in sports left out.
We have heard that teachers participate in an “Academy Cup” competition made up of fun physical challenges, Karaoke performances, and scavenger hunts. We believe that students would also like to have their own academy competitions or be able to contribute to the teacher’s Academy Cup by participating in similar competitions.

No. 3: Host Field Day Activities

The best way to get students engaged in school events is to have a field day where everyone is engaged and everyone is having fun. We recommend that we have at least two field days with one happening at the beginning of the school year and another happening after STAAR testing — or maybe even during STAAR testing when many students are stuck doing nothing in holding rooms.

these events should be organized by the Student Council and school administration. Teachers are passionate about their academy cup and we think students will enjoy one that they can participate in, as well.

these events should include a mix of physical, performance and academic competitions so there is something for all students to enjoy.

We realize that it will be difficult to justify a field day to the campus administration, but we think it could be incorporated into a “Focus on Your Future Day” type of event that has been successful in the past. By taking the time to “build culture,” we think it will pay off in the long run in the form of improved attendance and student involvement.

No. 4: Get Creative with Marketing

This year, there were some good events hosted that we wish more students would have attended. This includes the Mr. Eagle Pageant, which allowed students to show off their talents. Promoters did their best to promote this event with some nice posters hung around campus and announcements over the intercom.

However, we encourage event promoters to get creative with their marketing. We all know that students have short attention spans, and it is hard to get their attention when they are fixated on their cell phones. We encourage promoters to try using Snapchat and Instagram to promote events. Make some goofy videos. Use memes. Just make it fun and the students will start spreading the word.

We believe a creative pitch can help overcome the problem of students who don’t attend events because they just aren’t comfortable attending social events. If the events are appealing enough it could help shy students come out of their shells and cause a bandwagon effect. We believe that if campus leadership takes a more inclusive approach to event planning, it will help students who only want to attend events with their small group of friends. The annual Blue & Gold Night event is a great example of an inclusive event that has something for everyone.

The Eagle’s Eye believes these kinds of events could encourage students to hang out with friends at Akins after school instead of going straight home to play video games. Once students start a habit of participating in after-school activities they will be more likely to participate in other activities at school.