Harvard Needs Spirit Groups

Harvard News 5/10/83–Editorial – HARVARD NEEDS SPIRIT GROUPS

By E. Randol Schoenberg, Editor-in-Chief

When Harvard was a boarding school, the school was divided into four groups which competed against each other in school related activities. Today, Harvard students, especially Student Council members, complain about school spirit, separation of Lower and Upper Schools, and lack of intramural activities. To solve these problems, I propose the reestablishment of Spirit Groups at Harvard, beginning next September. The Groups would be divided by last names: A-H, I-Q, R-Z. The whole school would be involved as everyone would be a member. The function and purpose of the Spirit Groups would include:

  1. Groups would promote participation in school-related functions.
  2. The three groups would compete with each other to increase involvement.
  3. Groups would organize dances and other activities.
  4. Groups would be responsible for increasing participation in: Food Drives, Paper Drives, Bike-a-Thons, Jog-a-Thons, Walk-a-Thons and Blood Drives.
  5. Most important, the groups would be responsible for maintaining high attendance at athletic games.
  6. Intramural competitions between the groups would be held.

The Spirit Groups would act like political parties in that they would help organize and motivate a large group of students in competition with other groups. As incentive, participation would be tallied up by Mr. Berrisford and/or the Student Council. At the end of the year, the group that contributed the most to school spirit would be immortalized on a plaque (with the name of every member) to be hung in Seaver, Rugby, or an appropriate place in perpetuity.

To promote the enthusiasm and loyalty, the following gimmicks could be used:

  1. ID cards for the group
  2. Buttons
  3. Mascots
  4. Shirts
  5. Hats

The groups would probably be color-coded as they were before, in Red, Green, Yellow and Blue.

The benefits of the Spirit Groups would be numerous. School spirit would be raised. Large crowds would attend games, dances, and performances. Competition would promote greater participation in school activities. Groups would serve a social function by increasing relations between Upper and Lower Schools. All school intramural sports would finally be possible.

Just as any new idea, the Spirit Groups may not catch on at first but with time, these groups can again become an institution at Harvard. Active participation would not be mandatory. But, because activities would be fun and enjoyable, involving no work, I think we could count on large involvement, especially if the groups are run well.

Like the Indian Guides, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, FAC, RAC and FALS, belonging to a group would be satisfying and would provide a chance for Harvard students to have fun while supporting their school. Groups like this were very popular in earlier Harvard Days and with your support they may very well be popular in Harvard’s future.

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