I’ve been thinking a lot about school spirit in the last few weeks. Especially since I’m on the student council, I’m interested in fostering school spirit, and getting students to care more about their alma mater. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of negative feelings and/or hostility towards the school. I’m surprised at the lack of community and positivity at this school. It is a bit of a disappointment, but I’m going to do what I can to make things better, and encourage more student engagement.
This week was a great opportunity to do so. There was some flash flooding in Montpelier. You can check one of my previous posts on the hail and thunderstorm we had. The downtown area was the most hard-hit, and some neighborhoods had to be evacuated. We found out the next morning that class was cancelled due to flooding at our restaurant on Main Street. The basement part of the restaurant that has a bar and lounge area had four feet of water, and so much had to be thrown away. Luckily, some wine and liquor could be saved. But since everything was soaked, the carpet had to be torn up, and everything had to be cleaned and sanitized.
I was part of a small group of students that helped with the clean up on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and today. The general manager and other staff members were there, and we cleaned the entire bar area, first with soapy water, and then with bleach water. It was so sad to see the area destroyed by the water. The lounge area will now be set up upstairs at the Chef’s Table, a private area usually reserved for special events. So hopefully, the restaurant and bar will be up and running by Tuesday, and classes will resume.
My question is: why weren’t students lined up at the door to help out? Surely more than six students were available, since it was the weekend, and we didn’t have classes. Of course, every school has its problems, and so does NECI. Yet I continue to ask myself, how does one go about building school spirit? How does it happen that a school can foster loyalty and pride in its students and alumni/ae?
Photos by Rachel Lauria