Five ways WO could make homecoming week better

Sidney Hogan

“What’s going on?”  

“Where’s the music?” 

“What are they doing?”

   These questions were being asked as I sat at our annual homecoming assembly. The cheerleaders were posed on the gym floor, ready to start an impressive performance, but something was off. Music had played, but abruptly stopped two seconds into the performance. 

   The music wasn’t coming back on.

   Students watched as the cheerleaders’ faces turned confused, angry, frustrated. After two minutes of awkward silence from the speakers, the cheer team gave a fantastic performance without music. 

   I and other students were confused. The rest of the assembly seemed to go the same way. More technical difficulties paused the assembly. The MC’s couldn’t be heard. The staff mock rock took ten minutes to start. 

   This isn’t the fault of the Student Senate or the staff who planned the homecoming festivities. While the week was enjoyable, West Ottawa could move on from some traditions of homecoming. Here are a few ways West Ottawa could make homecoming week better:


Get the music to work


   With 2,200 students crowded into the gym, the wifi isn’t going to work. Why depend on wifi for music? Instead of connecting through a phone, try using a CD. Burning a CD isn’t difficult, and no wifi is required for the music to play. All we need is working speakers and a CD player, which we have. The cheerleaders would be able to perform to music, and every performance would start on time. 

   Jr. Mariah Stewart is a Student Senate member and a cheerleader on West Ottawa’s team. She was supposed to dance with her team when the music wouldn’t play. “My stomach sank and I wondered what was going to happen next. We ended up counting through our routine and did amazing! When I ran back to the senate table to ask my friend what happened, he explained that the music isn’t working anymore, even though we had practiced all day before the assembly,” she said. 

   Trial runs are a great idea. If CD’s are used, they should be done to ensure the cheerleaders get to dance to music.


Allow students to get a say in dress up days


   This year’s participation in dress up days seemed low. Students found some themes to be difficult to find an outfit for. Food day was the most difficult dress up day this year. Students seemed confused about what this day required. 

   Homecoming dress up days shouldn’t need an explanation. Soph. Ella McNeely agrees. “If there was anything I was to change, I think it would have to be some of the spirit days. They were definitely fun, but there could’ve been more participation with a day that was easier to dress up for,” she said. 

   It would be easy to send out a Google form to students asking for their ideas; they could vote on which days they would like to participate in. Stewart said she would like to see more student participation. “I think it would be a great idea to send out forms, polls, and suggestions for homecoming week. The more ideas the better!”


We don’t need MC’s


   A tradition of West Ottawa’s homecoming assembly is having two students host. They introduce activities, sports teams, and games. They also get the crowd hyped up and energetic. 

   At this year’s homecoming assembly, I couldn’t hear the MC’s. The same is true every year. I’m sure they did a great job. I would have enjoyed it if I could have heard them. Jokes were missed, and people couldn’t hear announcements to come to the gym floor. 

  Having a teacher or staff member announce the next event of the assembly could work well and would allow more time for activities like games. The sound system is simply not adequate, and no one should pretend it will magically be better next year.


Sports announcements get too repetitive


   Every year the captains of the fall sports teams come to the gym floor, introduce their sport and say something similar to “We’ve been working really hard this season, make sure to come out and support.” While it’s fun to see the sports teams and how well they’re doing, this tradition gets repetitive. 

   I would prefer to see a video introducing the sports teams. This could include highlights of each team and the captains could be featured. The video wouldn’t be long but would give each sport the recognition they deserve. Creating this video could utilize WOBN’s skills. WOBN does a great job creating morning announcements, so why don’t we use them for the assembly?

   Another way sports could be introduced is creating games that each team can play. Having members from every team take part in a competition would be fun to watch. Games like this would be more interesting than the repetitive speeches usually given, plus the crowd would have fun watching the school’s athletes compete.


Games at the assembly are getting old


   In this year’s assembly, the relay games seemed disorganized. Students who were signed up to participate never went to play the games. When they were played, students found it easy to cheat. 

   A game that could involve the whole school is a competition for “most-spirited grade.” The classes could compete throughout the week and the assembly to have the most school spirit. At the end of the assembly, the winning grade would be crowned with a banner or trophy that could be passed on each year. 

   This game is a great way to get every student involved during homecoming festivities. Friendly competition between grades would be fun and an exciting new part of the week.


   Asking students what they want to see during homecoming guarantees a successful week. The week is a time where students can come together and show pride for our school. Like Stewart said, “My favorite part of hoco week is feeling like a teenager. All of the traditions and activities that take place during hoco are so fun and they give you something to look forward to.” West Ottawa is a school full of diverse students with valuable ideas; let’s see what they can come up with.