Spirit stick contest deserves new judges


Nicollette Arabie, Editorial Team

With district football coming to a close next week and the final Bison home game this week, the Senior Pep Rally and the black-out pep rally merged into one last pep rally blow-out, with students from first through 12th grades packing the gym and lighting it up with neon. The event marked the end of the annual spirit stick competition and quest for a trip to the movies and to have pizza. The seniors took both points up for grabs this week and won the contest overall. 

 More than one student (and sponsor) was convinced the seniors won only because it was their senior pep rally and have been questioning the validity of the voting for weekly winners. And whether it was actually rigged or not, the idea that it might be proves that it’s time to find a better way. 

Class sponsors give up time to help organize class fundraisers and meetings, and often, they fight the uphill battle of getting students to participate. The spirit battles were intended to help this situation along with increasing spirit levels at the pep rallies themselves, but so many students have decided the contest isn’t fair that it has had the opposite effect. 

For example, the junior class spent the entire football season working on their poster for the seniors. It included pictures of all the seniors with different juniors and black lights on glow-in-the-dark neon letters. They also bought and decorated crowns for the seniors to wear all day. Once again this year, though, it was a relatively few students turning up to create. Most of the students said there was no point in trying to win when the seniors were automatically going to take it, anyway. 

The judging pool is part of the problem. At the very first pep rally, the judges included the head senior sponsor. Head sponsors should not be judging the contests. There are plenty of other options.  

For example, in Leon pep rallies are a huge part of the community. Parents come and business owners come as well. Business owners then judge the sign contest and the noise contest. If Buffalo were to adopt this trend, it would get more people involved from the community and would make the judging fairer. 

 Even many of the seniors knew they had not really earned all of the points they grabbed this year. They attempted to “comfort” the juniors by telling them that they could win every spirit stick next year, but the juniors insist that that is not the issue. 

 The issue is that regardless of who will win next year, this year, students were cheated out of wins because of biased judging. 

 The spirit sticks were intended to put the pep into pep rallies, but ultimately it’s taken a lot out of the underclassmen this year. The best way to fix the pep rallies and bring the fun back is to either eliminate the contest or make it fair by picking multiple judges that are not biased in who they choose.