Sophomores take initiative to fix lack of spirit at NYHS

After four sophomores noticed the NYHS student body not showing up to school events and not showing enough school spirit, they took matters into their own hands.

“It started in advisory when the teachers asked us to talk about how the school can be improved through events,” said spirit committee co-founder Elianna Rothstein. Paulina Gamel talked about how the problem is students don’t go to school events. Joe Benoliel felt there was a lack of excitement around the school and not enough hype, especially around basketball games as well as not enough event participation from the student body. These three, along with Ruben Owen, decided to step up and create the spirit committee. “If I’m not going to care about it, who is?” Benoliel said.

The spirit committee heads wanted to start small and focus on getting more student attendance at basketball games. “I love going to school and love going to games, but it’s just not fun when no one comes or no one participates,” said Gamel. “As a girls’ basketball player, when no one shows up to the girls’ games it’s just sad.” 

They used the spirit to bring more people to cheer for both girls’ and boys’ games. The spirit committee planned raffles with prizes, swag giveaways, and food at the basketball games to encourage people to come. They also decorated the school with balloons and streamers in the school colors. “The stands were packed we had to pull out all the seats, the environment was crazy, it was amazing,” said athletic director and boys basketball coach Ashford Jackson about the senior night basketball game.

However, spirit days were put on hiatus because of what the school called disrespectful behavior. The spirit committee approached administrators to discuss restarting spirit days, but they declined. The spirit committee plans to continue spirit days in a different format. 

Rothstein feels monthly or bimonthly spirit days are a fun way to bring up the school morale and are easy to plan and not costly. “I want our school to have spirit, and I don’t want everyone to feel like we’re going here just for school and just to learn,” she said. “I want to make it the best it can be,” Gamel added. Aside from adding positivity, it’s good for the school when other schools and prospective parents come to the games and see all the students cheering. “When the other schools see the students dancing to Jewish music and see our Jewish pride it’s a big kiddush Hashem [sanctifying God’s name],” said Gamel. 

The spirit committee heads are all excited about their committee and their ability to create a better NYHS environment. For Benoliel, the spirit committee is for “making you want to walk into school every day and being excited to be there.”