School launches its second annual virtual spring spirit week

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By Faiza Tasnim & Daffny Cardoso, Staff Writers

Townsend Harris High School kicked off its Spring Spirit Week virtually on May 3. Spirit Week included Pajama Day, Faculty Appreciation Day, THHS Pride Day, Culture Day, Denim Day, Self-Care Day, and Movie Night

Coordinator of Student Activities Sarah Loew stated that spirit week is an opportunity for Harrisites to “express [their] identity and learn more about other members of the community.” “As simple as it sounds, it’s also a great way to have fun. From creating outfits and costumes to participating in fun activities, Spirit Week is a great way to make new memories,” said Ms. Loew.

Public Relations representative junior Lauren Jun said that with Spirit Week being virtual, it became hard for the community to come together. “It’s difficult for us to emulate that sense of camaraderie over screens because part of the fun is interacting face to face. With this year’s Spring Spirit Week, the [Student Union (SU)] wanted to create the opportunity for students to celebrate school spirit even though we are not in the building,” Lauren said.

“Even though this is my first year at THHS, it’s very obvious that community support and spirit is a big thing at this school,” freshman Susan Yang said. “I think that it’s during these critical times that you participate and knowing that even though there is a lot going on, there are people on the other side of your screen that are there in the same boat as you, clad in gold and crimson.” Senior Fabiha Samiha, who participated in Pajama Day and THHS Pride Day said that while spirit week wasn’t the same online, “it was nice to look [at other celebrating students] and just say, I’m not just a student, but that I’m a Townsend Harris student.” 

Many teachers also participated in Spirit Week. Humanities teacher Dr. Brian Brewer said that THHS Pride Day “was easy to [participate in] remotely” with his fencing team shirt.

For Faculty Appreciation Day, students were able to send virtual messages to staff thanking them for their dedication to the school. Sophomore Annie Lei said, “[We] wouldn’t be standing where [we] are today without the help of our faculty. It further fosters the school community because we are respecting the difficult efforts and sacrifices that everyone has made within this difficult time.”

On Thursday, the school held Culture Day. Through food, fashion, and music, students could show off their heritage. “There’s a lot of diversity at our school,” Susan said. “I think this is a great way to explore other cultures and get to know all the parts of our school.”

The school had also encouraged students to wear denim on Friday, in order to raise awareness on sexual assault. Junior Class President Hanna Kurdziel, said that “There exist so many misconceptions about what qualifies as harassment, even in Townsend Harris, and Denim Day is a great way to symbolize a commitment to educating yourself about the prevalence of sexual violence.”

The following day was centered on relaxing during AP season and the end of the marking period. With these events, the SU organized a day where students would emphasize spending time on their self care. Susan said, “This is especially important for THHS students because some overwork themselves studying, and just need an opportunity to relax.”

Spirit Week wrapped up with a movie night on Sunday. Students were to end the stressful week with a simple movie or TV show with their families and friends. Hanna said that days like movie night are “great reminders to stop worrying about upcoming projects and just relax.”

“I think the reason why students tend to always want Spirit Week throughout the year is because it reminds us that we really are part of this large community that goes beyond just homework and extracurriculars,” said Fabiha. “I feel that especially during these times, where most of us are still learning in a fully-remote environment, it’s important for students to have opportunities like Spirit Week to just remind us to breathe, and that we do have the support of our everyone at Townsend, whether we’ve met them in-person or not.”