Spirit Week Fills Campus with Energy


Photo Dept.

Students pose on Dress-Like-a-Taftie Day.

Throughout the week of May 3, sweaters were tied around necks for “Preppy Day” and students posed for photos in front of the large “Taft: Wipe your feet” banner at the entrance to Main Building. Designed to build school spirit and enthusiasm as sports teams geared up to take on the school’s rival, Taft, Spirit Week is an annual tradition organized by Blue & White, the school spirit club.

Spirit Week usually takes place in November during the week leading up to Taft Day. However, due to COVID-19, the two schools were unable to engage in the traditional day of competition last fall. Instead, students celebrated Spirit Week leading up to this past weekend, when Spring Varsity teams competed against Taft at home or away on alternating days. 

Fans were unable to travel to Taft for away games, but students cheered athletes on at home throughout the weekend with the “Blue Mob,” a group led by members of Blue & White that went from game to game building energy from the sidelines. The school emerged from the weekend triumphant, winning the majority of the games played.

Although notable traditions such as the bonfire and pep rally were missing from this year’s Spirit Week, Blue & White aimed to build the same energy that surrounds the Taft-Hotchkiss rivalry in normal years. Every day of Spirit Week had a special dress-up theme, as in past years – including Twin Day, Preppy Day, Dress-Like-a-Taftie Day, Secret Dorm Day, and Way-Back-Wednesday. Ivy Bhandari ’21, co-head of Blue & White, said, “We haven’t had the chance to [host] a lot of all school events where the entire community feels like they’re all together, but I think Spirit Week is a big part of making the entire community more united.”

Psych cards, a tradition that involves hanging memes about Hotchkiss or Taft in the halls of Main Building, returned this year with limitations imposed by COVID-19 restrictions. Since students do not have access to printers this year, they submitted designs through a Google Form and Blue & White heads and board members printed them and hung them up throughout Main Building. However, very few cards were in evidence.

Henry Emswiler ’22, co-head of Blue & White, stressed the importance of students participating in Spirit Week. He said, “There’s something about students’ competitive nature that comes out during Spirit Week that really builds character in the community. It has everyone working together to reach that one shared goal, [beating Taft].” 

The continuation of school traditions such as Spirit Week helped to maintain the school spirit and sense of community. Xander Farrington ’24, a member of the Boys Varsity Tennis team, said, “Seeing people getting [excited] throughout the week for our games feels like a glimpse into pre-COVID Hotchkiss.”