People often question how much the non-curriculum aspects of school such as sports, clubs, and assemblies impact the student body, but recent situations have made the answer evident. Not being able to experience the “fun” parts of school has made a huge impact on students’ understanding of DHS traditions, policies, and what it means to be a Charger. They help teach kids about Charger spirit, being a part of a community, and finding your place within DHS.
Although local COVID-19 cases have decreased to around 20 cases per day, according to the Midland health Department, the MPS administration is not allowing schools to have in-person assemblies, even with precautions. Just a few weeks ago, DHS put on its first assembly of the year and one of the few live-streamed assemblies in DHS history. Despite not being able to have an in-person assembly this year, Bolt Media and Student Leadership were able to put together an assembly that looked as normal to the student body as possible, however, the feeling just wasn’t there.
“In-person [assemblies are better] for sure because all the hype and all the spirit is there and when you’re just watching a screen it’s boring,” senior Rachel Sisco said.
Sisco participates in both Student Leadership and Bolt Media and gets exclusive access to the behind-the-scenes of this year’s homecoming assembly. There are also many opportunities for technical difficulties when producing a live-streamed assembly.
“It’s just a lot more difficult because you have to make sure that nothing goes wrong with the internet or any of the cameras so that the audience can see it in their classrooms,” Sisco said.
Although assembly production went extremely well for its first time being live-streamed by this year’s staff, the audience didn’t feel the same energy that they would have compared to being in person. They missed the feeling of being close to one another and feeling the connection between the assembly’s participants and the audience. Some participants in the assembly stated that they didn’t even feel like they were producing an actual high school assembly.
“It felt not real, there was no connection between the students and those participating in those listening,” senior Sam Baker said.
Baker was in the gymnasium during the live-streamed assembly because of the drumline and got to experience it first hand for himself. Chargers who were a part of Bolt Media, the Homecoming Court, pom, cheer, drumline, and the musical chair game participants were able to sit in the gymnasium, while the rest of the student body tuned in from their sixth-hour classes.
The last time that DHS had an in-person assembly was in December 2019, which was sophomore year for this year’s seniors, and time is running out for the class of 2022 to experience a normal assembly again. With only two assemblies scheduled left for the year, it is absolutely imperative that we get assemblies running at full capacity again.
Not only are these gatherings fun for students, but it gets them involved and connected to the traditions of DHS. Students have so much exposure to different clubs, sports, and opportunities through these assemblies. They see the pom and cheer teams performing during the Homecoming assembly and dozens of clubs walking around the gym to show off the banners they made for the Homecoming parade. They listen to the choir, orchestra, and band performing at the holiday assemblies, and even the hockey team shows off their vocals. The class of 2024 and 2025 have never experienced an assembly like this before. How are our future Chargers supposed to carry on the Charger legacy if they’ve barely been able to experience it for themselves? The class of 2025 hardly knows the lyrics to the Fight Song or that they’re supposed to stand when the band is playing it.
Although it’s not part of DHS’ traditional curriculum, there is more than enough value to a school-wide assembly that MPS administration is just simply not taking into account, for example, learning about DHS traditions, finding your community, and getting involved throughout the school.