Article written by Samara Davis, a student in the journalism class here at U-32.
Now, after U-32’s Homecoming, we should reflect back to the good and the bad.
Homecoming is a big event for many schools, and for U-32 it means Spirit week, hallway decorating, and the first installment of a homecoming dance in a number of years. U-32 celebrated their homecoming, and it elicited mixed emotions from the U-32 staff and students.
Krista Dy is the head of U-32’s Pep Squad. “We’re doing the hallways now, rather than at the end of the year…” She said, “I feel like we’ve learned a lot of what can work and I’m sure we will still learn many different things.”
The one major change this year was the homecoming dance. Krista said, “before Covid we got to a point where we weren’t even having a Pep rally. It felt like there were big things that happen in most schools that weren’t happening here, that are an important part of the [highschool] memory.”
To Krista, having a Homecoming dance was an opportunity to build memories for the students of U-32. She said, “the things you remember are typically what happens outside of the classroom.”
Willow Mashkuri and Grace Lagerstedt are upperclassmen in Pep Squad. Willow said,“I think a lot of people are more intuitive with the themes and there’s more excitement.” Grace said, “It gets people excited going into the school, it gets people excited for the school year and it gets people more involved in the school community.”
To Grace and Willow, Homecoming is a chance to build community, particularly for the Freshman.They decorated a hallway and got to participate in a Homecoming dance. Amelia Garland, a Freshman at U-32, appreciated the opportunities. She said, “It’s good they’re trying to revive the spirit of U-32, it’s a big thing at a lot of [other] schools and U-32 was kind of feeling left out,”
Unfortunately, while decorating the hallways there was a discovery of possible hate symbols.
In an email sent by Steven-Dellinger-Pate he addressed the hateful findings. He said, “during the decorating of hallways this week and upon further investigation, it was revealed that a student, or students, drew a swastika and wrote the n-word. The swastika is a symbol of hatred and has no place in our school,” In another email Steven said, “What we are uncertain of is whether or not the symbol that was drawn on a locker was a swastika. We are relying on a few eyewitnesses who differ in their interpretation of what they saw. Some think it may have been a very poorly drawn snowflake, which would have been part of the decorating theme.”
In the most recent email sent on October 6th Steven said, “Our student representatives to the school board provided all our board members with information about the incident and the board is supportive of our work…we will not tolerate hatred or language that demeans or harms any members of our community.” There is still more investigation being done around the symbols found, but many students and teachers rushed to assist the clean up and their work is being acknowledged.
Now, weeks after Homecoming, there is much to reflect on. Both the football game and the dance had a great attendance, and these, alongside the hallway decorating and spirit week, are hopefully traditions to stay for the U-32 community. They create room for more creativity, fun, and memories that can be carried past high school.