An Appeal from Blue and White


This article was written by all eight of the Blue and White Society Heads: Hattie Childs ’19, Nick Fallon ’19, Ben Meyers ’19, Bradford Rawlings ’19, Maggie Smith ’20, Nick Traggio ’20, Max Quinn ’19, and Ashton Welch ’19. The article was written in response to the Administration’s new restrictions on this year’s Taft/Spirit Week.

The main goal of Blue and White is to increase the positive spirit of the student body. While we attempt to have many different activities and events to look forward to throughout the year, Spirit Week is always one of the biggest. Both the faculty and Blue and White heads have spent countless hours discussing the best ways to make your Spirit Week the most memorable week of the year. 

It was quite disheartening to find that we had simply become the messengers for higher powers who had decided to change the rules.

However, with some of the changes in the Deans’ Wing, it has been difficult to get in contact with the right people in a timely manner. Mr. Puls has been an awesome addition to the Blue and White team, and he is working as hard as the heads, especially when it comes to communicating with Administration and faculty. Blue and White acts as a bridge between students and faculty and Mr. Puls acts as the bridge between Blue and White and the rest of the Dean’s Office. While this works well, there are many moving parts so it is easy for things to get lost. Blue and White heads were unsure if communication was lost, forgotten, or just seen as unnecessary last week when an email was sent out from Mrs. Gibb on behalf of the deans regarding Spirit Week and Blue and White. We greatly appreciated the message that was sent to the student body and the recognition for the hard work that was put in, but we felt that certain mistakes were incorrectly blamed on the Blue and White heads.

Although we have been working hard with Mr. Puls and Mrs. Gibb in the Student Activities office, certain changes came from within the Deans’ Wing with little warning. While we recognize that the Administration holds the power to implement decisions, we feel as if we have been imprudently left out of important decision-making processes. Given that Blue and White has a large role in planning and setting up Spirit Week, we assumed that we would be consulted for advice on any changes instead of just being told that they had been made.  It was quite disheartening to find that we had simply become the messengers for higher powers who had decided to change the rules.

While the Administration’s email mandated that Blue and White “brainstorm how to transform our spirit into a positive force that energizes the entire student body,” our input was not taken as seriously as we would have hoped.. Similarly, the requirement that we develop a “process…for approving psych cards,” was brought to us by Administration. Due to some of the psych cards seen in previous years, it was made clear to us that psych cards would become obsolete if no system of approval was implemented.

Originally, we were given the suggestion to have students sign their names to their rightful psych card(s). However, knowing that students could easily use someone else’s name, this option didn’t seem like it would work. Once the flaws of this system were discussed, we were given the task of figuring out a better way of approving psych cards. The idea of giving each card a stamp was discussed as the next best option. Even though we knew this would add a whole new responsibility for us to face during the busiest week of our time at Hotchkiss, it was the only system that seemed to create the least amount of change for students while still meeting the demands of the Administration.

Blue and White, as well as the student body, deserve more transparency and clarity on issues that so heavily affect our Hotchkiss.

As many have seen, this slight change has created a larger ripple effect on many aspects of Spirit Week as well as within the community as a whole. Immediately after these rules were announced, outraged students began to voice their opinions through social media and take advantage of loopholes in the system.

With an increasing number of students openly expressing their anger, Blue and White was caught in the middle. From T-shirts to psych cards, Blue and White received a large portion of the blame that came with students’ growing concerns. Certain students quickly realized that their previous years walking through a spirit-filled main hallway was now perhaps slowly becoming a thing of the past.

Feeling as if we have been pushed out in front of the Administration to face the mob of exasperated students is not an easy task. Blue and White felt it was essential that you (the students) understand the position that we are in. We are constantly being pulled in opposite directions by the students and the Administration. This year, more than in previous years, the divide between students and Administration is wide and constantly increasing. Facing the task of trying to make both sides happy is almost impossible.

Blue and White, as well as the student body, deserve more transparency and clarity on issues that so heavily affect our Hotchkiss experiences.

Although Spirit Week was tense, we appreciate students coming out, making psych cards, dressing up, and working towards what they believe they deserve – whether that be a less “soft” attitude towards chirping or a larger emphasis towards carrying on a tradition. The psych cards were sick (including those we did not approve or post). As Blue and White, we are fighting to preserve the traditions that make Hotchkiss unique for this year and for the future.

We appreciate the support from the students and many faculty members who realize that school spirit is a vital part of our community. So remember, Bleed Blue and Be True to what you believe in, and as always, bring the ruckus.