Got spirit?

Examining the importance of camaraderie among students at MVHS


Alexander Chu

Students in the stands cheer as MV Cheer performs a stunt.

Anika Bhandarkar and Darpan Singh

A mass of Matadors huddle together on the bleachers, floodlights illuminating their matching attire. Garcia shares that people in the stands make school spirit events more interesting, because “everyone is happy to be a Matador and they all want to have fun.” 

Junior Aya Abdelrahman adds that representing MVHS by dressing up, participating in rallies and dances are fun ways for students to de-stress in school. Senior Alex Li agrees, saying “[school spirit is] important because it gives students a chance to bond with each other and provides a fun environment in an academically challenging school.”

However, some students believe the academic culture of MVHS requires students to prioritize school over spirit events. Junior Nithya Appannagaari says time spent attending school events would be better used to finish work, especially because many events like rallies take place during tutorials, which can be used to “catch up on work and visit teachers.” 

“I feel guilty for going to rallies because I think to myself, ‘Oh, I should be working really hard on this thing,’” Appannagaari said. “Instead of going to a rally, there’s this idea that you’ve got to constantly keep on working.”

Senior Clay Carson thinks school should be more about “learning and succeeding in class,” and that he’d rather interact with his friend group or people closer to him rather than the school as a whole.

In contrast, junior Saketh Korada argues that school spirit events are important stress relief because of the academic culture of MVHS, believing some people focus too much on academics and “forget everything else”. Li agrees, saying “a lot of students would rather have a school event than a test, [and school spirit] definitely helps relieve stress when there’s something fun going on.”

On the other hand, Carson explains he does not like going to school-wide events because of his personality. He explains that school events are often too loud for him and require too much energy. 

Garcia explains that ASB tries to combat this by prioritizing “give over ask”, that is, prioritizing events that require little effort from the student body, by planning smaller events that “don’t ask the school to do ginormous things and force them to participate.”

“We give them more [smaller] things so that it’s easier for them,” Garcia said. “Bring your own mug is always a popular thing because we provide cups and they have something to do. Or we pass out Otter Pops or do Polaroid backdrops. I think it’s just the small things [we do] like music or bubbles.”

Although Carson doesn’t attend school spirit events, he still sees the importance in school spirit because it helps unify the school. Abdelrahman echoes his sentiment.

“It kind of unites us,” Abdelrahman said. “Like when the seniors cheered last year it was like a goodbye, and whenever we do it it makes me like ‘Oh my god. This whole section is juniors — we’re all [in] the same boat here.’”