School Spirit Sucks (When It’s Conditional)

By Maggie Bringhurst - Staff Writer

 Though the importance of sports teams at Lone Peak may be overstated, the notion that athletic groups have a larger budget than academic groups is false. The inequality between various extra-curricular groups at Lone Peak isn’t something that comes from the administration’s decisions, but the student-body ourselves. As a Lone Peak student who enjoys involvement in just about everything besides sports, I have to admit this was a hard concept for me to accept. 

I have spent excessive hours complaining about the injustice in our school’s budget, with no proof or concrete evidence to support the idea that sports are unfairly favored. From a orchestra member’s perspective, touring out of state was difficult. Also interested in debate, I was discouraged by an insurmountable start-up fee.This inconvenience drove me to give many pointless rants about this heavy discrimination and even became the original objective of this article. However, after speaking to Principal Bromley, I’ve decided to clear misconceptions about how athletics are funded. Bromley said that many teams are, in fact, self-funded. 

After learning this information, I had to concede that the budget is as equal as it could possibly get— but that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain stigmas, stereotypes, and inherent favoring towards different clubs and groups within the school system. Announcements and school communication systems like Uknighted and The Crusader rarely highlight academic groups in comparison to the sports highlights. Academic groups like math team, physics team, Skills U.S.A., DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), TSA (Technology Student Association), FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), aren’t listed on the Lone Peak website’s activities page, despite their devoted team members and various competitions.

This problem derives not from insufficient attention from the administration, but from the students separating themselves into groups and choosing only to support peers who share their interests. Those who prefer to participate in sports only attend football and basketball games and don’t support the recognition given to academic clubs. On the other spectrum, those interested in music or other extra-curriculars refuse to support athletic groups and instead complain about their own lack of support as if the issue was completely one-sided.

Of course, this problem isn’t something specific to Lone Peak. Sure, the stigma of this complication is emphasized at Lone Peak, but every school has cliques. The issue isn’t the fact that this bias exists— the issue is how easily this bias could be fixed. Even with our budget being equally divided, our student body is separated harshly based on this lack of support for each other. Whether or not football gets more money than they necessarily need is irrelevant because the solution doesn’t come from the administration, it comes from us. Our student body must begin to accept each other regardless of involvement in different extracurricular activities.

Everyone loves a good football game, and there is nothing wrong with that. But when this support is skewed to the point where the student body views various groups and activities differently and those students are treated differently, it’s a problem that needs to stop. Obviously we don’t want to tear the school into cliques, but recognition should be equally provided to all teams and groups. If we truly want to become united as a school and student body, we have to be supportive of everyone’s interests, not just our friends. Our excitement to represent Lone Peak shouldn’t vary based on who’s competing, and our school spirit shouldn’t stop at football games. Students should be proud to be a Knight regardless of the activity.