Opinion: Leadership responds to critique

This year Spirit Week events Wild West Wednesday and Rave Day were removed and replaced by the leadership team due to concerns about the possible negative effects of these events on school climate. 

Some members of leadership were concerned that Wild West Wednesday promoted racism and that Rave Day had connotations with drug use. Another decision made by the leadership team was to cancel Jersey Day.  

The leadership team replaced the former events with Twin Day, Web Wednesday and Throwback Thursday. 

Cole Pressler, in his Op-Ed, said Twin Day had “high potential to cause anxiety.” We think Pressler is overstating his case. Although Twin Day may have had some minor potential to create anxiety, the likelihood of causing a student to feel anxious was low because it was a voluntary event and therefore the stakes of not having a twin (or not being able to coordinate effectively with a twin) were of little consequence. 

The leadership team decided to make changes to this year’s events due to the harm associated with previous Spirit Week days. Members of the leadership team felt Wild West Wednesday was too closely tied to the racist messages present in many movies and other media that depict the “Wild West.”

In addition, the leadership team was concerned that possible drug connotations of Rave Day had the potential to trigger a relapse in someone struggling with addiction. 

Pressler noted concerns that Web Wednesday fed into patterns of social media overuse. However, it is a legitimate choice of the leadership team to recognize that the internet forms a major part of life for many students and to create an event based on this student interest.

Additionally, the fact that Pressler found Throwback Thursday to be boring does not imply “laziness” on the part of leadership. Trying out new Spirit Day themes is how leadership finds new exciting concepts. Sometimes these ideas work and sometimes they don’t, but that doesn’t mean that we should never experiment with new ideas.

Finally, it must be noted that Pressler’s article was written before Spirit Week even started. In other words, the article essentially assumed how things would go. This runs counter to the fundamental goal of journalism, which is reporting on what actually happens, not what one may think will happen.

Regardless of how individual people thought Spirit Week went, one outcome of the week could be thought of constructively; The Cardinal Times could use this moment as a starting point for a larger conversation at Lincoln about tradition and change.

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