The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

Staff Ed: Is Homecoming for the Students?

Recent changes to homecoming traditions create less unity among classes and less spirited environment.

While homecoming week is supposed to be about school spirit and unity, the Knight Errant Staff has started to doubt whether BSM fully lives up to this ideal. Administrators preach “One BSM,” yet we question whether their decisions for homecoming are consistent with this commonly used phrase. 

Homecoming week used to be a time for friendly rivalry and school spirit. Students were able to participate in various activities, including dress-up days and games such as the girls’ powderpuff game and the boys’ volleyball match. At the end of the week, the homecoming dance would take place for all grades. While most of these activities are still taking place, recent changes have been made. Included in this is moving the football game to Saturday afternoon, removal of class colors, and exclusion of freshmen from the formally all-school dance. Homecoming week thrives off of student excitement and participation, yet with these new changes, it seems as though both will be scarce this year.

Students live for the Friday Night Light atmosphere at football games. Although many circumstances play into the scheduling of the game on Saturday–from reffing shortages to facilitating two dances–there is just something lost when the big game is in the afternoon. With student engagement already at a low for sporting events, it would make sense to find a way to schedule an evening game for Homecoming. 

While some seniors, including our senior editors, are motivated to attend the homecoming football game as it is their last year, it would be better if it were more accessible, encouraging a wider variety of students to attend. Despite understanding that parents and alumni need to be considered in the timing and structure of events, the student experience should not be overlooked. “I’m not a fan of [the scheduling]. I think the Friday night atmosphere is way more fun, and it gives us two nights of Homecoming rather than just one,” Senior Jack Anderson said. 

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The game’s scheduling pushes more students to not attend the game—moving students away from the intended unity of the “One BSM” initiative. Junior Eva Rahn explains that she has complications in her schedule for the day of homecoming. “[The game is] just not at a good time on Saturday… I’m not going [because] I already have things planned out during the day. I know that a lot of other people aren’t either because they already have plans to get ready for the dance,” Rahn said. 

While some of the dilemma is caused by forces outside of their control, like ref shortages,  this creates all the more importance for faculty to focus on the things they are able to influence.

This includes the removal of class colors. In past years, BSM grades would be assigned a color. Freshmen were allocated green, sophomores had yellow, juniors would be blue, and seniors were red. Each class was given the opportunity to decorate a given section of the school with their color as well as wear a shirt of that color. Students would then wear these shirts to Homecoming activities to differentiate the grades. 

Last year, administrators decided to get rid of class colors–every student receiving a red shirt instead–to promote the idea of “One BSM.” While we recognize the importance of the school making changes to bring everyone together, we view some changes as unnecessary and in the wrong places. The majority of students do not see colored shirts as a divider between the grades– there is already enough unity to overcome this “barrier.” “I think it’s cool to separate the grades and have some friendly competition, but then have everyone come together as one at homecoming,” Anderson said. 

I think it’s cool to separate the grades and have some friendly competition, but then have everyone come together as one at homecoming.

— Jack Anderson

BSM has built the last couple of years based on the concept of “One BSM.” After Covid, BSM made bringing the school together a priority because there was so much division during the pandemic. While they have taken steps that reasonably correlate to this idea, such as removing class colors, the Knight Errant staff feels that they are taking steps that contradict it. For example, the freshman class now has a separate homecoming dance. 

With BSM class sizes at an all-time high, last year’s administration made the decision to separate freshmen from the main dance. They believed that 800 people in one gym was just too much. Although we understand the circumstances that led them to make this decision, it seems to defy the value of “One BSM.”

While some freshmen enjoy having their own dance, others feel that it is unfair that they are excluded when almost all other schools include their freshmen in the main homecoming dance. “I feel like it’s not our fault, so we should get a chance to go and be included,” freshman Annie Mullin said. 

Even the upperclassmen we spoke to disagreed with the administration’s decision to keep the freshman separate from the main dance. “They waited so long to make it to their freshman year and now they’re just dumped in the cafeteria with a DJ,” Rahn said. 

All of this brings up the question, is homecoming really for the students? We, as the Knight Errant editorial staff, believe that it is not. Homecoming should be a time of celebration and unity, but we feel that some of these new changes have only caused further separation between the students.

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