A Part Of The Crowd: What does it mean to have school spirit at EHHS?
Having a connection to an aspect of EHHS increases the likelihood of our students having school spirit. Students at EHHS feel that there is a lack of school spirit because many students don't have a connection to or interest in the events being held. Some students also feel like events, spirit days, and themes for games are not advertised enough, while others feel like it is plenty.
For those who enjoy participating in school events it’s all because they want to create a fun environment to make school enjoyable. One of the most involved students is senior Rocco Lombardi who participates in sports and helps run The Hive, the student section that supports EHHS teams. Rocco has organized a pep rally and is often there at student sections helping boost the spirit. Rocco says, “school spirit brings the community together, cheering for the athletes who choose to represent our town on the field, court, and track” Rocco enjoys being involved because he wants to bring people together as well as bring positivity. He says, “I just do it because I want to be known for something positive when I leave East Haven. I want people to come together as one to support our school.” Similarly, senior student and Hive member Alexis Serafin, says, “I feel like it's nice to do things to make school fun. I enjoy doing it and I want other people to enjoy it too.” Both Alexis and Rocco feel like the word about games, themes, and spirit days are spread well through social media, such as The Hive instagram (@_ehhive_). However, they think students are afraid to open up and may not want to be interested and that is their own choice.
Those who do not participate often tend to only go to events held during school hours. Sophomores Justin Sieng and Alexis Streitwieser find it fun to sit with friends at pep rallies and that’s about it. Justin says, “I didn't really pay attention to the content. I just enjoyed spending time with friends.” Alexis participates depending on what the event is. She would also be more willing to participate if the spirit days were simpler because she doesn’t want to be judged. Another student, senior Mia Paniss, would participate if the spirit days were unique and talked about more often. Mia is also a part of the EHHS Drama Club and feels like people don’t go to their shows. She says, “I think people [who are] more interested in sports don't have connections to Drama Club and are not interested in musicals; just like how I don’t know anything about sports either.” Mia hopes more students will attend their show in April, but understands that some people just don’t feel connected to the program, similarly to how she doesn’t feel connected to sports.
Students that don’t organize student sections or spirit days, like senior Kayden Patel, go to events to support their friends and build memories instead. Kayden went to a wrestling match at EHHS recently, despite knowing nothing about the sport. Kayden asked their friends, who are team members, and they explained how it worked. For Kayden, it really helped them enjoy the game and feel the school spirit by being a part of the crowd and knowing what was going on. Kayden says, “I participate because of friends and building memories while also taking advantage of school events. I'd rather be going to a few or all of the school events than being at home all the time.”
For the class officers, like freshman class of 2026 officer Eve Backhaus say that being a part of teams like volleyball and softball increase her school spirit as well as the spirit of the student sections. Eve says, “Seeing how much the student body participates and seeing how much they scream and have a good time is my favorite part of participating.” Another freshman officer, Fabiana Ruggerio, also just wants to enjoy her high school experience as much as she can and make memories. Fabiana is influenced by the opportunities to make those memories and says, “I just want to be able to do everything I can to make my highschool years better and to make the experience better for everyone.” Fabiana hopes as a class officer to create more activities and unite students throughout her time at EHHS.
There are multiple ways for students to get involved in expressing school spirit. For seniors, the senior planning committee says that anyone is welcome to join to help plan and come up with ideas for activities. Looking at class instagram accounts or The Hive instagram can let students know about upcoming themes for games and any spirit days or fundraisers, too.