Virtual Spirit Week Flops


Sneha Rajkumar

Seventh grader Sneha Rajkumar poses with the elf she made on Monday’s “Santa’s Workshop: DIY Elf on a Shelf” after-school virtual event. She stated that this day was her favorite out of all of them. Although Rajkumar participated daily, other students did not for various reasons.

“There’s white right here on Jesus, it was originally broken,” stated junior Tayler Avila while describing the creations she made during Friday’s virtual event, Holiday Cookie/Gingerbread House Decorating. In addition to Jesus, Avila’s gingerbread house also featured an on fire Christmas tree and a gingerbread figure affectionately named Kylie Jenner. “We were just like, ‘hmm this would be interesting if they were just all broken and everything was like insane asylum.’ I don’t know why, it was just a random thought.”

Junior Tayer Avila shows off “Kylie Jenner,” a gingerbread cookie she decorated while hosting Friday’s virtual event as a part of the December spirit week. Avila believes that events like the spirit week are “just a good way to build spirit online and have fun. This is challenging for everyone and I’m just trying to get through it all.” (Leslie Tello)

Avila hosted the treat decorating event as a part of the Merry and Bright Spirit Week held from December 14th through the 18th. In addition to dressing up during the school day, students could also attend virtual events via Zoom from 3 to 4 PM.

Seventh grader Sneha Rajkumar attended the virtual events, including Friday’s, and dressed up every day in addition to posting to the padlets. “Monday was my favorite because I really liked the elf that I made and it was really fun,” said Rajkumar.

Seventh grader Ana Montano Alanis also participated in the spirit week and virtual events. She stated, “My favorite day was Monday because apart from doing an awesome Christmas gnome, it introduced me to everyone who went to the festive after school zooms.”

Junior Anna Komorita posted this image to Monday’s padlet, writing, “My ASB group and I were in charge of making sure this activity went smoothly, and it did! We had a good deal of participants who all created cute elves! We had Christmas Carols playing during the crafting part, which gave a Christmas-like atmosphere.” Regarding the event, ASB advisor Mrs. Petruschin wrote, “At one point in time, 20 students from both middle school and high school joined in on the creative fun!” (Anna Komorita)

Despite eager participants, many noticed a decline in student involvement overall compared to in-person spirit weeks.

Substitute teacher Mr. Verley said, “Spirit week was good, but I don’t think enough people knew about it to participate. It seemed like only the kids in ASB or yearbook participated. I think it would help more students to participate if every teacher mentioned it the week before and also during class. I know it’s posted to the Google class for each grade level, but I’m not sure how many students check that.”

In addition to the ‘Class of’ Google Classrooms, some teachers even posted the flyers on their own google classroom. also advertised the spirit week, however, as of December 21st, the video only has 26 views and the webpage has 16.

 Another reason for the lack of interest may be wardrobe. UP has a dress code and when there is spirit week, some students want to participate so they will not have to wear a uniform, but since there’s virtual classes, students can wear almost anything they want. Other students might not have the appropriate clothes for the spirit day.

Senior Alessandra Quinonez uploaded this image with her seventh grade brother, Alexander Quinonez, on Monday’s padlet. Her caption stated, “This is a picture of my brother…and I bonding for extra credit. We had so much fun trying to get a nice picture. Lately I have been enjoying spending time with my brother.” Mrs. Petruschin, an advisor for ASB, journalism and yearbook, as well as an AP English teacher, offered her students extra credit for participating in spirit week and posting images to Padlet. (Alessandra Quinonez)

Eighth grader Emiliano Quintana stated, “I thought spirit week was fine but I didn’t own anything that would fit the theme.”

Seventh grader Ana Montano Alanis also opted out of Wednesday’s Sweater Weather Day for this very reason.

She said that she participated in all of the other days because of all the exciting activities that were planned.

Rajkumar expressed the same sentiment. “I wanted to participate because I thought it would be fun.”

ASB member Tayler Avila said, “I think that because of online [learning] we can go through a whole day without talking to anyone. If you really wanted to, you can just have your mic off, have your camera off for the entire day and not have any interactions. So just being able…to host these things gives an opportunity for students to do something else other than their daily routine of going to class, doing your work and then going back to sleep doing the same thing. I think it’s just a good way to build spirit online and have fun. This is challenging for everyone and I’m just trying to get through it all.”

You can still submit a picture of you in your spirit wear on the designated padlets.