Spirit Committee receives mixed reviews after ‘Pack the Platt’

By Brooks Hooley

Student senate hosted a school spirit initiative called “Pack the Platt” Nov. 2013 with the goal to encourage students to support the basketball teams during the home games.

“We wanted to bolster student involvements at sporting events, and to encourage a bigger sense of pride in the school,” junior Sam Thompson, chairman of the spirit committee, said.

Some students said they believe the spirit committee achieved what they set out to do last November. Senate was responsible for creating the student section,“The Forest.”

“I think [the Spirit Committee] did a good job of starting it and letting the students run with it,” junior Blake Hohlbein said. “I know personally I helped lead a lot of cheers.”

Hohlbein said that the spirit of the student section would depend on the game and situation.

“As the year progressed things got better, but often times students would not cheer until the second half,” Hohlbein said. “Students don’t realize that the first half can be just as important and sometimes more important than the second half as the results of the first half can set the tone for the game.”

Both basketball teams had successful seasons with the men’s team finishing with a 24-8 record and reaching nationals. The women’s team also reached nationals and finished 24-9.

“I still think there is room for improvement [for school spirit],” freshman basketball player Derek Hinen said. “But their efforts brought more students to the game and a better atmosphere.”

Junior Victor McCarty said a lot more can be done to increase school spirit during sporting events.

“Ever since my freshman year, I have been ashamed of our student section,” McCarty said. “They might as well just play the basketball games in the library because that’s how quiet the students are. The elder fans of Forester nation are louder and have more spirit than the actual students do.”

Thompson said the biggest issue the committee faced this year was the creation of T-shirts for the student section.

“We had to get permission from the university [to use Norm, the university’s mascot] and it’s a long process,” Thompson said. “We had two designs, but they weren’t approved. We kind of just did away with the whole ‘Norm’ idea.”

Freshman Spencer Brewster said he was impartial to the spirit initiatives.

“It kind of sucked that they said we would get T-shirts for going to a certain number of games and that never happened,” he said. “A good majority of students didn’t show any spirit unless Dr. Emberton told them to stand up.”

Overall, Thompson believes the committee laid the groundwork for the goal they want to achieve.

“I think it’s a good start,” Thompson said. “But we definitely learned a lot through the experience, and I think we kind of refined how we want to approach next year and enhance school spirit and student involvement.”

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