Wake up, Warriors! Why We Need Announcements
The 2018-2019 school year is definitely a year of great change and, naturally, with great change comes great discontent among those who are affected. Believe me, I am just as frustrated about many of the changes that have happened at West as the next person, so we all need to step up and voice our opinions, and have our concerns and disapproval be heard.
For many of us, our source of perpetual bad feelings is the extended 5th and 6th blocks, specifically for those who are forced to spend 2 or more hours doing nothing since we can’t leave school grounds. Not only that, but nothing about it is pleasing or efficient for students and teachers: the caf is too loud, there’s not enough room in L lounge, you can only stay so long in the smaller lounges… the list seems endless. For others, discontent is rooted in that we seem to be losing some of our traditional school characteristics, such as our mascot and Tribe News. For some it has been the lack of announcements given throughout the school day to keep students updated on extracurriculars they are interested in.
I’d like to start off by saying that I am well aware that the purpose of cutting out the announcements was to save time. However, I’d also like to point out how this decision to “save time” rather than keep the students in the loop has disrupted many of our school lives.
As always, the problem surrounding the announcement debacle is a rather complex one, with many intertwining reasons creating a mass of discontent within the student body. As for announcements, I know that there is a designated page where we can check them, but it has been anything but efficient since many students don’t even know it exists. In all sincerity, not many people have the time or can even remember to check a document since we’re busy with, oh I don’t know, school? It seems to me that not many people are pleased with this change. Students are missing club meetings, new opportunities to get involved, and overall just feel disconnected from the school and its variety of new experiences and events.
Secondly, there is the matter of utter frustration, and restriction of knowledge. I myself relied on the announcements in order to know what was going on at school that day. Whether that be through the emailing system we had last year, or through the speakers in the morning, I needed those announcements to know when meetings were being held, if activities were being canceled, if the bookstore was selling activity passes, or if there were any upcoming opportunities for me to partake in and show off my school spirit.
Recently, because of the lack of announcements, clubs have resolved to hanging up fliers to inform Warriors of the meeting dates, locations, and times in a last stitch effort to get students to join. Well, what good does that do me? I walk these halls everyday, back and forth, and I pass about 30-50 fliers a day for clubs, and never know because I cannot see them. If you can imagine, it can be quite upsetting to find out that I am missing out on schoolwide activities simply because I couldn’t see the poster on the wall advertising it. I would also like to mention that, yes, I have tried the announcement google doc, and yet it was almost immediately an unsuccessful means of communication for me. I am sure that we all are appreciative that there was an alternative system set in place of the old one, I know that I am, even with the major setbacks it is having currently. However, we need to be frank about these obvious complications, which seem to outweigh its advantages significantly, and come up with a better and more efficient solution to the announcement problem.
A great first step is the new inclusion — starting this Monday — of morning announcements over the intercom during the before-school passing period, to continue before school on Thursdays and Fridays, too. The 10-minute passing periods on block days present the possibility of expanding announcements to every student, every day. It was a mistake to think the school — including all clubs and sports — could thrive without these daily connections to information for students. Students shouldn’t have to go seeking information; if we want people to be involved, we need to deliver it to students in a way that makes it almost impossible for them to miss. By missing out on news and announcements, students have been missing so much more that Maine West can offer them.