With the high levels of stress and pressure that come from being a high school student, most people look forward to escaping it by playing sports, participating in clubs or hanging out with friends. While Maclay has the potential to provide students with these stress-relieving activities, most are unable to be successfully executed as the participation levels are suffering around campus. In addition, students being uninvolved with the school leads to division within school spirit and the sense of community that Maclay is typically known for. 

After a student graduates, one thing that faculty, administration and other students want them to take away, in addition to education, are the core memories and fun they had. One way Maclay intends to increase the levels of entertainment on campus is through pep rallies. Maclay Student Ambassadors (MSA) sketch out ideas for fun and interactive pep rallies for the whole school to enjoy. With games involving different grade levels and challenges to win various prizes, the overall goal is for the students to have time to let loose and enjoy themselves. While this is the goal, if one gazes into the audience, what is typically seen are cliques of students sitting quietly on their phones and not engaged in the activity that is happening. This action defeats the purpose of such events and creates a painfully awkward experience. With an increase in student participation, situations such as these will be weeded out, and everyone will embody the same energy, feeling the intended effects of this positive event. 

“I think it is important to get involved in your school to help support school spirit,” Co-Scool Spirit Committee Head Will O’Connor said. “[Everyone should] have fun while doing it.” 

Not only would the entertainment factor of school increase from more participation, but Maclay would be able to create clubs to combine interest groups around campus. According to Neumann University, joining these clubs expands a person’s social circle and allows them to pursue their interests. The creation of a variety of clubs and activities would establish a more inclusive environment at Maclay. Still, without the participation of students, these clubs will be unable to function and gain members, making them unable to happen. 

“Unfortunately at our first event, some teams did not show up,” Intramural Sports Coordinator Ryan Kline said. “The planning that we put into it for making the brackets did not necessarily work out, but it still gave 30-plus kids something to do during FLEX. Maclay is providing the opportunities for involvement, it is now up to the students to take part.” 

In addition to these clubs and events, increasing participation around campus would create a strong sense of family and community. When people come together, unforgettable bonds and memories are made. If the school lacks this participation, students can not receive the entire high school experience. According to the Trauma Learning Policy Initiative, “Academic outcomes, social and emotional competencies and critical thinking skills are all enhanced when students have access to school environments where they feel safe and enjoy a sense of belonging and connectedness.” Schools’ umbrella of comfort will be impossible without the participation and support of other students and faculty. 

While most think going all out and participating is embarrassing or a waste of time, this is all the more reason to. Displaying this positive energy will rub off on the community, increasing participation immensely as a school. Replicating this at Maclay will lead to a positive experience for all students going through high school and the memories they wish to cherish.