Green, blue, red, black and gold: South students continue to sport their class colors despite administration name change

South+seniors+come+together+to+take+pictures+of+their+black+and+gold+attire.+Although+the+name+was+changed+to+Neon+Day+due+to+seniors+hazing+freshmen%2C+South+students+have+continued+getting+dressed+up+as+their+grade%27s+color+for+the+day.
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Green, blue, red, black and gold: South students continue to sport their class colors despite administration name change

South seniors come together to take pictures of their black and gold attire. Although the name was changed to Neon Day due to seniors hazing freshmen, South students have continued getting dressed up as their grade's color for the day.

South seniors come together to take pictures of their black and gold attire. Although the name was changed to Neon Day due to seniors hazing freshmen, South students have continued getting dressed up as their grade's color for the day.

Sophia Manolis

South seniors come together to take pictures of their black and gold attire. Although the name was changed to Neon Day due to seniors hazing freshmen, South students have continued getting dressed up as their grade's color for the day.

Sophia Manolis

Sophia Manolis

South seniors come together to take pictures of their black and gold attire. Although the name was changed to Neon Day due to seniors hazing freshmen, South students have continued getting dressed up as their grade's color for the day.

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Officially, the second to last day of spirit week is called “Neon Day,” but as as students walked into school on the morning of Thursday, October 6th, it was apparent that to many of them the day had an entirely different meaning. Students were all decked out in different colors — according to their class. It was class color day, when freshmen wear green, sophomores wear blue, juniors wear red, and seniors wear black and gold.

Excitement filled the air as the day went on. Pictures were taken, silly string was sprayed, glitter bombs were thrown, and during passing time after 6th hour a crowd of seniors rushed out on the balcony, chanting “2017! 2017!” over and over again, as per tradition.

Historically, this day of spirit week has always been class color day. Tanya Hodge, a Liberal English teacher who has taught at South for 18 years, recounted: “it’s been here for so long…[and] it was [always] fairly positive… I remember one of the chemistry teachers, she only taught all juniors, she was decked out completely in red… she would join in on the fun just as much as the students.”

But around 5-10 years ago, class color day became something more negative. Heather Borgman, a student at South High during this time who graduated in 2011, remembered that “by my senior year it started to get pretty rowdy, I would say, to put it mildly… it turned into seniors hazing freshman rather than just all wearing different colors.”

Nicole Schneider, an Open English teacher at South, also spoke of the negative energy surrounding class color day increasing. “[In] I want to say 2009… there was a big fight where the seniors were booing, pushing freshman around… it turned into a fight, where the teachers got hit, so that was crazy.”

The negative things that happened during this time prompted administration to try to eliminate class color day. “It’s one or two people, or even three people that just really wreck it… I remember vividly that there was a 9th grader that got… thrown into a garbage can, there was more physical harm and hazing… and the administration was like, we have to fight this, we can’t have this anymore,” Hodge said.

However, she believes “it was an incident that could have been like, hey, let’s talk to these kids that did this and let’s not [take this out on] all the students.”

Because of the attitude change towards class color day, administration has tried to replace it with different spirit week days over the years, such as Neon day. But this never stopped students from participating in it anyways. “We’ve had different names for it, but everybody just did class color day,” said Schneider.

By observing the many students dressed in their class colors on Thursday, it’s easy to see that the popularity of class color day hasn’t faded. And as affirmed by several different students, the energy around class color day today is fairly positive. “I don’t think there’s any negative aspect to class color day… [even though] it used to be more of a hazing thing,” said senior Aria Kressel.

South juniors dressed up in red in response to the class color day tradition. "It’s [about] building up, having fun... I think the idea of it, dressing up and waiting to be the senior, it’s fun, it makes everyone look forward to something in high school.” said senior Aria Kressel.

South juniors dressed up in red in response to the class color day tradition. “It’s [about] building up, having fun… I think the idea of it, dressing up and waiting to be the senior, it’s fun, it makes everyone look forward to something in high school.” said senior Aria Kressel.

Maggie Anderson, a freshman who wore green, said that although “a bunch of [other] freshman told me I was going to get glitter bombed, nothing bad happened.”

Generally, students today are aware that class color day should not be taken too far. Senior Inezca Carreño explained, “I think it’s lit, but when people try to do extra with it, it’s not fun.” There are still glitter bombs and silly string, but it’s all in good spirit.

As Kressel said, “I wouldn’t like [hazing] no matter what grade I was in, I wouldn’t do that to underclassmen… it’s [about] building up, having fun. I think the idea of it, dressing up and waiting to be the senior, it’s fun, it makes everyone look forward to something in high school.”

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