DVC Spirit Week in the Pandemic

Kadi Donis

DVC Leadership has been finding ways to spread school culture so students still feel the love and energy in these tough times. 

 

Spirit Week was promoted through Leadership’s new Instagram account. This was the first time that spirit week had been promoted through Instagram and the first time Leadership has had an Instagram account. 

 

This year’s first Spirit Week led up to Halloween. Emma Angel, junior and third-year Leadership member, was a part of creating the new account and contributing her ideas about Spirit Week. 

 

   “I liked the fact that it was mentioned on the new leadership Instagram page because it got people engaged in our account and brought more attention to it,” Angel said. “I also think that it showed what the account is supposed to be about which is highlighting students to build culture.”

 

High School PBL Facilitator Andrea Behling released an article with Magnify Learning talking about different ways to keep a classroom culture alive. She writes about the myriad of ways you can have your students in a virtual class environment feel more comfortable and have fun. One fun idea that she added to her classroom through virtual learning was for her students to dress up as a scientist and to demonstrate any cool experiment that they wanted to do. Even though it is through virtual learning, they are still able to do some fun things at home that can’t normally be done at school. 

 

Even though this was the first-ever virtual Spirit Week at DVC and the first instance of Leadership’s social media promotion, there were still some struggles with student engagement. Connor Hinchman is a sophomore and returning Leadership member for the second year in a row. Hinchman is also in charge of the Instagram story account for Leadership meaning that students were able to post on their stories and tag Leadership. 

 

“I do think, though, that if we were to be in person, the social media promotion and features would encourage more students to engage and would ultimately improve Spirit Week,” Hinchman said. 

 

It is very difficult to send a clear message out on social media about positivity in light of the pandemic and the 2020 election. Right now, many have been experiencing a little bit of anxiety and stress, but the Michigan State University Journalism published an article by Alysa Kirn about Instagram’s challenges of spreading awareness of positive messages out to the public. The article states that Instagram is now being used to spread “vibes” and as a way to show people what new hobbies they are doing or show their followers how they are doing. Spreading ideas and building culture is a little bit rocky on social media, but sometimes there is always going to be an acceptable result in the end. 

 

This was new for everybody and using Instagram as a way to show spirit is a new type of way to spread culture in DVC. Sophomore Hilda Donis, a returning Leadership member, was one of those students who posted her part of Spirit Week to her Instagram story. She also saw how much buy-in there was for Spirit Week this year through Instagram for the first time. 

 

“I think that Spirit Week got much more buy-in because of Instagram promotion,” Donis said. “I feel that it helps the students feel more connected because most of us use Instagram on a daily basis.”

 

Spirit Week was new to everyone this year, but Leadership had amazing results and growth of DVC students showing their love of it. 

 

“I definitely think that it has helped. With people reposting DVC’s posts, it helps students see other students outside of their grades,” Donis said. “Like with the Spirit Week, I was able to see how more people had pets and I even began talking to more students about theirs until more conversations formed from that.”