Editorial: A divided spirit


Editorial cartoon courtesy of David Rusin, ‘23.

Students filled the football stadium on August 26 for the annual Back-to-School assembly, but despite filling the stadium, there was little school spirit in the stands. The assembly’s purpose was to reinvigorate school spirit, but do we even have any spirit to invigorate at all?

This year’s district-wide theme is #WeBelong220. The Barrington webpage writes, “#WeBelong220 stresses the importance of providing a culture in which students feel a genuine connection to their school.” But why is that connection missing in the first place?

Strip down the rah-rah-rah’s and red, white and black, and you’ll find a dispirited group of students. In a survey conducted by the RoundUp’s editorial board, only 42% of students polled said they feel connected to the BHS/District 220 community. If we’re all so disconnected from each other, what even is Barrington spirit?

Or is this what constitutes Barrington spirit – the very apathy that divides us?

For many, spirit feels like an obligatory tradition. The distinction between true spirit and communal obligation begins to blur. Underneath the chants of our fight song, it becomes clear that our fighting spirit has dwindled into an echo of what was once Red pride.

Certainly, the efforts of staff and student organizations should not go unrecognized. But despite staff members working persistently to embody an ideal, tight-knit community, the final effort narrows down to the student body ourselves. School efforts can only go so far without the active participation of students.

Apathy is contagious and Barrington has been infected for a long time.

We can’t change the apathy of previous students or anyone else, but we can change ours. At the end of the day, the problem is ours to fix. Maybe it’s awkward partaking in spirit at first, but take those steps anyway. Apathy is contagious, but so is enthusiasm.

We’re all Barrington students. Each and every one of one us. No one’s story is too little or insignificant, so let your voices be heard. And maybe next time, we can hear them at the Back-to-School Assembly too.