From 18 to 22 December 2017, Marc Garneau’s Student Activity Council (SAC) held their second Spirit Week of the school year. Like their first Spirit Week, every day had a theme that students were encouraged to dress for, as well as activities in the cafeteria. The Spirit Weeks this year have tended to coincide with holidays like Halloween and Christmas, allowing for more differentiation between each week. The event was advertised through social media, morning announcements, posters, and class visits.
The week kicked off with PJ Day, where students and teachers alike came to school wearing their pajamas. Although it was an excellent idea to destress the week before Christmas, students thought participation was reduced due to cold weather. However, some spirited—or perhaps just sleepy—students participated by wearing their jammies. When Sabiha Jogiat was asked why she wore PJs, she said, “Wearing PJs is comfy and it’s fun to dress up.”
Tuesday was Twin Day, and teachers, like Ms. Masemann and Ms. Wilson, also joined in on the fun. When asked about her feelings on this Spirit Week, Ms. Masemann said, “Most people don’t do [Spirit Week]. I wish more people would participate. Ms. Wilson and I are participating each day except for PJ Day—that’s just not professional.”
On Wednesday, students were encouraged to wear their house coloured apparel to support their house colour teams. Some students wore the Garneau house colour shirts they purchased earlier this year.
On Candy Cane Day, the theme for Thursday, students wore red and white clothes to coincide with the Christmas themed Spirit Week. The week wrapped up on Friday with Ugly Christmas Sweater day, and the Christmas Show after school.
SAC encouraged students to participate in each day’s theme to earn points for their house. Points were recorded with the help of first-period teachers. Separate class lists were put in first period attendance folders, and teachers were instructed to mark down points for the respective houses of the students who participated. The results were then tallied by SAC.
Santa Cougar was also available on the cafeteria stage on Monday and Tuesday to take pictures. Pictures were one dollar for individuals and two dollars for group pictures. The pictures were done as a collaboration with Prom Committee, and all proceeds went towards organizing the Grade 12 Prom at the end of the year.
When Ms. O’Flynn-Wheeler was asked about how she thought Spirit Week impacted students, she said, “ I think it’s awesome; it brings in passion and energy. I wish more kids got involved. The student council is really trying hard, and eventually, I think their spirit will become contagious.”
One of the goals of Spirit Week was to build up hype for the Christmas Show, for which tickets were sold in the cafeteria during lunch from Monday to Thursday. Laksikaa Rajaratnam, the SAC Social Convenor, added that she chose to organize a spirit week right before winter break because she wanted the year “ending off on a good note, kind of like a ‘Happy Ending.’” She added, “There is a lot of exam stress these days, and this week is about building up the hype for Christmas, participating in Christmas festivities, and engaging students.”
Laksikaa plans to base the following spirit weeks on holidays such as Valentine’s Day and she hopes to “deliver what [the students] want, and what they [want to] participate in. I plan on doing a meme day later this year when the weather is better, so more people are willing to participate. We are also holding pep rallies every month to help increase spirit.”
Improvements are still being made to SAC events. President Lisa Wang says they are improving student involvement by incorporating house colour competitions and advertising as much as possible. In addition, she plans to include more activities and games in each Spirit Week to boost participation. For example, during the week, candy canes were handed out in the cafeteria and hallways to students with the right apparel.
Overall, the students who participated really enjoyed Spirit Week. When asked about the importance of it, Laura Lu said, “I love Spirit Week because it’s really great to see the school come together and celebrate a season that I love.” However, the general consensus among students and teachers is that more participation would help better achieve the uniting goal of Spirit Week.