Cougars and COVID: Where Did the Spirit go?


Anisah Collazo

Student council puts posters up around school to try to encourage student involvement.

Beginning the second semester, TCHS has been met with many obstacles with many school spirit activities being canceled due to Omicron, staff shortages and the weather. While the high spike of the Omicron variant on campuses has made it more difficult for students and teachers alike, it hasn’t been  the only factor for this year’s school spirit shortfall according to students.

The first year back to full in-person school has been an adjustment to many. Football stands were fuller than prior years, students could finally group together in the halls, it seemed all was back to normal until recently

Student Council helps fuel the spirit in the halls, but it’s been difficult lately as events have been postponed or canceled all together. Open house, elective fairs, and the MR TCHS PAGEANT are some of those events.

In a survey sent out to students, 57% of those who filled it out said that COVID was one of the reasons school spirit hasn’t been the same, but some students don’t think the new variant is fully to blame.

Student Council President Gabriela Hernandez says it’s been frustrating the past few years in student council dealing with the constant changes the school years have brought.

“I’ve been in student council for the past four years and these past two years have felt very different than my first two,” Hernandez said. “This time around we saw some participation, but it was still hard to get the attention of the student body.”

Carissa Rowland, a freshman cheerleader, is big on school spirit. Walking through the halls and seeing the lack of spirit from students makes her frown, she explains. For Rowland, she thought it would be straight out of a movie with people swooning for football players and students adorned in school apparel cheers ringing in the stadium for their team. 

“I definitely expected our school spirit to be like most other schools I’ve seen online during football season,” Rowland said. “Where their stands were full of school colors and students cheering on the football teams.”

In the same survey asking students about school spirit an overwhelming majority concluded that the main reason for the lack of school spirit is that fellow students did not participate. Taking a closer look as to why students do not participate, one surveyor mentioned that they just didn’t have the clothes for some of the bigger dress up days. 

Junior Thomas Caouette participates in the more simple spirit days and says that it would be a great idea to see more spirit days supporting other sports and school organizations. 

“I participate to have fun, to show a little school spirit, to show that I’m involved and know that I’m involved,” Caouette said. “If I notice on a poster saying to wear such and such color and I know I have that color, it’s easy.”

In an effort to get other students involved in spirit days Rowland tries to get her friends to participate and dress up with her. The lack of students participating could fall on the lack of communication for spirit days and events, 44% of surveyors said that limited communication prevented them from participating. 

Rowland explains that more social media posts would be the best way to reach students as she has observed students repost spirit posters for their friends and peers. Student council has all social media platforms @tchsstuco where they post reminders of different events and pictures of participating students. They are most active on twitter. 

“I feel most students think it’s cringey or weird to join in on spirit days,” Rowland said. “I feel like if everybody was more inclusive, and the posts were more entertaining to students, they’d be more likely to join in the spirit days.”

Hernandez stressed that student council welcomes suggestions from the student body whether they’re in the club or not. She says being president is something that she loves and she wishes that she could do more for the student body. Hernandez wants student council to support the whole student body in different activities.

“In the past we have done Stuco night at different sporting, academic, and music events. These past two years have been a bit difficult due to covid and it has been extremely hard to get students to attend some of these events,” she said. “We still try to remind everyone of these events and try to show support anyways we can.”