By Celina Sun
If the low turnout at sports games and participation during Spirit Week are anything to judge by, South High lacks spirit. Most students accept this lack of spirit as status quo—some even embrace it. Chemistry teacher Mr. Kevin Blumberg, however, argues that students misconceive school spirit, holding perceptions he hopes to improve as Student Activities Coordinator.
As South offers over 60 extracurriculars, the building is always bustling with activity, which Mr. Blumberg points to as a testament of school spirit. “If students weren’t proud of what goes on here, we wouldn’t [be able to] get [them] to do stuff,” he said, “[but] if the building’s unlocked, there are kids in it.”
South’s problem therefore isn’t really lack of spirit but lack of community— “the [collective] feeling of spirit,” as Mr. Blumberg said—a disunity the Student Activities Coordinator position was created to ameliorate.
While Ms. Elliott, Mr. Duggan, and Mr. Gottfried still respectively oversee clubs’ administration, field trips, and fundraising, Mr. Blumberg now helps add cohesion, providing a formalized avenue for clubs to work together.
“There are groups that can complement each other,” he said, “and [providing a way to bring them together can] make people feel a little less insular—a little less on their own. [For example,] wouldn’t it be great if there were a straight conduit from [Ms. Kinsey’s] internship program to clubs?”
Mr. Blumberg wants not only to increase communication so that opportunities for cooperation aren’t missed, but also to make students more aware of what the school can do to help groups that want to run functions. Ultimately, he’d like to meet at the end of each quarter with an activities council comprised of students to discuss what clubs have been doing and where they are headed. With a room full of involved kids, sharing experiences and offering suggestions, the ideas communicated “could help some great stuff happen,” Mr. Blumberg said. “I’m interested to see what kids come up with.”
A website dedicated to the clubs will come out around January or February, featuring a club-activities calendar and internship-opportunities links. Each club will get its own part of the site to provide information, publicize events, add pictures and videos—the site is essentially a conglomerate of what students put into it.
“Right now, [everything’s] very fluid, new, so we have to see what works and what doesn’t,” Mr. Blumberg said. “[The hope is that] as more kids get involved outside of their circles, they’ll start attending more events naturally because they’ll have friends in them. [The connections formed will] provide a way to get people out of their comfort zone and be introduced to new people, and I think that’s how we’ll get that community feeling.”