The student news site of Arvada West High School

The Westwind

The student news site of Arvada West High School

The Westwind

The student news site of Arvada West High School

The Westwind

Assemblies are problematic, here’s why

Hazing freshmen and disrespecting presenters are just a couple of problems at assemblies that highlight some of the most concering parts of Arvada West’s student body.
Assemblies are home to fun, excitement, and energy, but there are also some issues that need to be addressed. (Photo taken by Maci Lesh)

When many think of assemblies, the first image that pops into their head is a celebration: of the student body, of the school’s culture, and overall, of the high-school experience.  However, all of this emotion bundled into one 30 minute long, exuberant event can be problematic for more than one reason.

Whether it be throwing objects at performers/people on the gym floor, the student body refusing to quiet down and listen to presenters, or disrespectful behavior towards one’s peers, the issues associated with assemblies are abundant.

Take the Outreach assembly of 2024: a tennis ball was thrown onto the gym floor while cheer was performing, students failed to quiet down when a presenter was speaking on multiple occasions, and at one point a student became so fed up with the constant noise that he yelled at everybody from the stands, resulting in a hush before laughter started.

Is it not concerning that the only time the student body displayed the ability to be quiet was when they were being verbally accosted by a peer? 

Micah Porter getting pied in the face demonstrates enjoyable mayhem; however, there are more sinister forms of wild behavior featured at assemblies. (Photo taken by Chloe Rios)

First of all, it is important to pinpoint who carries the burden of planning an assembly; in this case, Arvada West’s Student Council. Members of last year’s freshmen, sophomore, and junior classes may remember the campaign promise of Maddison Morgan (this year’s Senior Class President) and Ashlyn Sawarnyski (this year’s Senior Class Vice President): that they would combat the hazing of freshmen and work to make assemblies better. 

With many issues from the previous school year emerging, it is important to look at what has been done by the Arvada West Student Council.

In terms of her initial campaign promise, Morgan elaborates, “In our campaign last year, MASH (Make A-West Something Historical), my vice and I addressed the Freshman Class specifically to acknowledge some of their struggles. We addressed that we relate to their frustration of getting discluded from the overall student body participation at events by highlighting that we used to be in their shoes.”

Despite this, freshmen were once again booed this year during assemblies, leading to even more questions being raised regarding assemblies.

Morgan assures that she is doing something about the problem, stating, “Although we only have so much ability to promote inclusion as Student Body President and Vice, this year, we have strived to make impactful changes to promote inclusion. This consists of observing scripts for our assemblies and giving the committee head feedback on how to respectfully include and represent all our classes in our activities, including participation and chants.”

However, Morgan and Sawarnyski have found it difficult to improve assemblies, with Morgan stating, “As a Council we have noticed that some problems we face during our assemblies include losing the attention of our student body and not keeping them engaged enough.”

She also brings up a key point: “It takes a community to rise together to promote inclusivity and create the standard of respect, not just one person.”

While assemblies have a plethora of issues, they also feature acts of generosity, kindness, and togetherness. (Photo taken by Chloe Rios)

While this quote may be simple, it highlights a key issue, which is that nothing can be done if students refuse to cooperate, something that has been the case throughout the last year. It is not fair or accurate to scapegoat student council’s organization of assemblies as the problem; after all, what can they do to fundamentally change the way students behave? 

It is not just A-West that has problems; in fact, hazing has been an issue in Colorado for a while, with Colorado’s anti-hazing policy stating, “It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in hazing. Any person who violates subsection (3) of this section commits a class 3 misdemeanor.”

Additionally, according to Shouse Law, “Prior to March 1, 2022, class 3 misdemeanors were a category of crimes punishable by up to 6 months of county jail and/or $50 to $750 in fines.” While class three misdemeanors are no longer an active category of crime in Colorado as of March 1, 2022, the seriousness of hazing is still showcased through Colorado policy.

At the end of the day, all of this comes back to the students. If people at A-West are unwilling to bear the weight of bettering assemblies for anybody, everybody will suffer. After all, as Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “A house divided cannot stand.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Madeus Frandina
Madeus Frandina, Editor
Madeus Frandina is a Sophomore at A-West who loves anything involving literature and plays soccer. A second-year staff member, Madeus currently serves as the Feature Editor for The Westwind. He hopes to continue with journalism for years to come.

Comments (0)

All The Westwind Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *