The week of April 17 marked Student Government Association’s first-ever Spirit Week. It started as a means of strengthening school and student unity through numerous events.
The kickoff of the first ever SGA Spirit Week for West Chester University began on Monday with a “purple and gold day” that called for students and faculty to wear the school colors in order to promote school spirit. Continuing throughout the week, each consecutive day corresponded to a particular theme, respectively including diversity, Banana Day, community service and organization pride.
With each day, activities and attractions were also presented throughout the campus that pertained to each theme. These included diversity workshops and game shows held in the Sykes Ballroom A, student organization fair and community service projects.
The week, however, was not completely scheduled with such themed events. Spirit Week also included events for the enjoyment of all on campus. Such events included the live performance on Thursday night from the Pennsylvania-native pop-punk band, The Starting Line; a volleyball game including members of the West Chester University faculty, staff and students; and the Gamelive event in a Sykes ballroom, featuring videos and playable versions of current-generation and next-generation videogames.
Banana Day, the well-known campus event in where bananas are passed out to students throughout campus by banana-costumed volunteers, was also included within the week of festivities.
Each specifically themed day combined into one central theme behind the Spirit Week. Amy Rae, current Vice President of the Student Government Association and Chair of Spirit Week committee, stated that the immediate purpose for Spirit Week was to show that although the West Chester University community is diverse, it is united in one way.
“Although diverse, we are all the same because we are students here and we love West Chester University and the community,” said Rae. “It is for us to really celebrate our differences and not let them divide us because we are all students.” It is Rae’s belief that, through each day’s events, the strength of the University is represented.
Just as Spirit Week was introduced from its origins as a Spirit Day for West Chester University, the annual Spirit Week will also see changes in the coming year. Instead of Spirit Week taking place towards the close of the semester, the next will take place in the fall during Homecoming Week. “We think that in this way, it will be more appropriate and that school spirit will be strengthened even more,” said Rae. Although the events are not yet scheduled for the Spirit Week of the new school year, Rae believes that the theme of unity will remain throughout.
“It was a big risk with this,” said Rae. “Big thanks need to be given to the Public Relations Committee and all the groups, organizations and everyone that help out and came out to enjoy. Without them, this couldn’t have worked.