North Pointe Now

Homecoming: a privilege not an obligation

By Lindsey Ramsdell, Editor-in-Chief

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It’s that time of year again. The leaves are starting to change, the air feels more brisk and we’ve accustomed to the pace of the new school year. But the return of fall ushers in another annual occurrence: homecoming.

As a proud member of Student Association, I help create the dance and so, clearly, I support homecoming. For North students, it’s the biggest social event of the year. Class rivalry and school unity coexist perfectly for one week. The energy, the hype and the pride you feel is at an all-time-high for the year. Spirit week leads up to the pep assembly and the football game, and the dance caps off the week with a show of glamor and grace.

However, after three years of experiencing the dance, many seniors feel jaded by the event that was once so exciting. In my group of friends, and other upperclassmen, many have chose to ditch the dance altogether. Even I, although I’m obligated to attend, am doing so begrudgingly. But because the dance is the main source of revenue for the Student Association and a quintessential high school experience, it’s important that we understand why it loses its appeal, and how we can change that.

Every year, the same complaints about the dance come up: “it’s hot and sweaty,” “the music sucks,” and “it’s too long and we’re trapped in there.”

Some of these things we can’t do anything to change. When you’re jumping around in a gym with about a thousand other students, it’s gonna get hot. No amount of AC can fix that. As for the smell, all I can say is don’t forget your deodorant.

The playlist is another one of the chief complaints from many students. The music is always “soooo old.” This is another thing that Student Association doesn’t have much control over. We hire a professional DJ to bring his own mix to the dance. However, we could help fix it if a student wanted to create their own playlist with music that is more with the times that the DJ could play, if they would allow that. But, when you’re working with an audience of one thousand unique individuals, it’s impossible to please everybody, no matter how hard you try.

But to me, and many other students, the biggest drawback to the dance is the fact that it’s three hours long, and you are locked in. Students cannot leave the school unless they have an emergent reason. This amplifies the other cons to the dance such as the bad music and heat and makes students that much more reluctant to come.

I understand that the school locks us in to protect us. It prevents students from leaving the dance and engaging in inappropriate behavior, such as drinking or using other substances. If students return to the dance or go other places while they are under the influence, then it creates an unsafe environment for others, and themselves. Keeping us all in one place assures faculty and parents that we are being accounted for during a school sanctioned event. However, I don’t think locking us in for three hours is the only way to prevent accidents from occurring.

No one should be forced to stay in school when it’s not during school hours. Also during the fall season, it’s inevitable that students will go out and party after the football games. Yet, administration doesn’t force everyone to stay at the game for the duration of the event, even though it is a very similar circumstance. Similarly, students shouldn’t be required to stay at the dance. This would make it a lot more attractive to upperclassmen and underclassmen alike that are feeling disillusioned by the three-hour marathon of fist-pumping and Pitbull.

But, it’s still necessary to keep tabs on students’ activities to make sure that they are coming and going from the dance safely. After they leave, students should not be allowed to return to the dance. This ensures that they don’t bring anything in, or put themselves in a situation where they could get into trouble. There should also be a guard at the door to check out who is leaving the dance. This can at least help parents and faculty track down a student if needed. Having someone at the door can also make sure that each student has a ride or a friend to help them get to wherever they are going after the dance.

These suggestions are small tweaks that would make the homecoming dance much more enjoyable for all. After all, you only get to experience it four times in your life, and if some students are willing to sacrifice one of those times, then something needs to change. The goal of the homecoming dance should be to get as many students to attend as possible, and allowing the students to leave when they choose will draw in a bigger attendance.


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