Leadership class overcomes virtual struggles

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Photo by Emma Saltzman

The 2021 leadership class dress up in spirit of mullet day. The SGA and leadership adviser Melanie Schwed were all a part of the spirit day as well.

Most of WJ’s main events such as Homecoming, class hallways, football games and the first pep rally of the year all occur within the first semester of the school year. With virtual school putting on hold any possibilities for what can be planned, this year’s leadership class has struggled with organizing covid-friendly events.

Leadership is a class where a group of selected seniors and the SGA plan and organize the majority of the events for the school year and act as a link between students and administration. With this year being the last time seniors would have been able to participate in any school related activities, the class of 2021 has taken a huge hit.

Leadership has put in efforts within the last few months by working and organizing plans together in these event committees. The class split into committees by month to plan events for the first semester.

Drive-in movie nights, virtual games, food drives and holiday gift giving are just a few examples of what these committees have planned for the student body. But with cases increasing and the struggle of doing things safely, has brought about concerns on what can or cannot be planned.

Senior Abby Matson was a part of the drive-in movie night committee. This event was supposed to be an opportunity for students to safely drive-in to an outside movie theater where students could sit in their cars or loungers that were spaced six feet apart. The original plan was to have this event at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds with a maximum of 50 cars and a big screen for all to see. Unfortunately, administration rejected this idea due to safety reasons.

“Part of why it got denied was because Ms. Baker was worried about drinking and driving at the event since this was right after the two students from Northwest High School unfortunately got in a drunk driving accident. Admin was really concerned about not being able to monitor that and with Covid-19, if there were students who showed up drinking we could breathalyze them but that would have increased the amount of germs circulating,” Matson said.

With administration trying to make the best decisions in terms of health and safety concerns for the student body, it’s been nearly impossible to plan events with gatherings such as these.

Even though Leadership has had no luck planning in-person events, their recent virtual activities such as the Manna food-drive has had much more success. This virtual food drive allows people to donate as much money as they want or they can choose a predetermined amount on the website. Due to Covid-19, in order to decrease the amount of germ circulation leadership chose to host it virtually where people can give monetary funds instead of food.

Senior Mia Chai who was a part of the food drive committee believes that this was one of the more successful events held so far this year.

“The event was so successful because of the nature of the event. Since it is around the holiday season, individuals are grateful and thankful for their own situation and are more likely and willing to donate to help others”, Chai said.

So far, Leadership has been able to raise _______ for the Manna food drive organization, with their funds continuing to come in.

Since these virtual events have been the safest and most reliable option, leadership is planning to have more events like these in store for the student body. Some of these future events include more student involvement and more social interaction, like virtual game night, Secret Snowflake and a TikTok challenge.

“I’m so excited for whatever Leadership has in store. It’s been hard trying to stay school spirited or even do any school related activity with everything that’s been happening,” junior Yuli Cabrera said.

Many students also feel like they’ve been missing out on school-related activities and are curious to see what leadership has planned for the rest of the quarter.

One of their upcoming events is called Secret Snowflake. Each student can choose to submit a Google form (which is due by the end of Thanksgiving break) where they’ll be asked about their interest, hobbies and any other information needed from the SGA, so they can get paired up with someone about a week later. Students will receive information about their partner so they can get them a holiday present with a spending limit of $20. Pairs can arrange socially distanced drop offs, or pickups so they can receive the gift from their partner.

“When planning this, we wanted to host an event that could get the student body involved during the holiday season and could get classmates that they might not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise”, senior Leadership student Bridget Fannon said.

Besides the traditional holiday gift giving activity, Leadership has also planned ways to increase the amount of school spirit which would have normally occurred within the week of school pep rallies.

Another one of Leadership’s committees is planning a TikTok challenge which they are calling a “Green Out” to show school spirit. For the challenge, students are asked to make a transition video of themselves in normal clothes and then switch to all green clothes to show their school spirit. It’s been decided that the top three videos of the challenge will receive WJ sweatshirts.

“The challenge is being held throughout this week and we might hold it again depending on what participation looks like,” senior Leadership student Catherine Milkovitch said.

Leadership will continue to plan virtual events that allow for more social interaction, so stay tuned and check out the SGA Instagram for more information about these upcoming events.

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