Despicable Themes

It won the poll, but did it win us over?


With one of Paly’s well-known events just around the corner, students continue to voice conflicting opinions and perspectives about this year’s Spirit Week themes and the idea of “school spirit,” itself. 

In particular, the class of 2024’s “minions” spirit theme has brought up mixed opinions amongst juniors. While some like the theme, junior Nupur Kapadia thinks the lack of versatility goes against the point of the Monday dress-up day.

“Everyone’s going to wear the same thing,” Kapadia said. “I don’t think it allows for a lot of creativity, which is what spirit week is all about.” 

After the news first reached Instagram that the theme was official, it became obvious that Kapadia was not alone in her disappointment. Current Junior Class Senator Saumya Kundu shares her perspective from the receiving end of the criticism.

“Every year there’s some sort of backlash,” Kundu said. “It’s not like we can make everyone happy. Technically Minions did win both of the voting rounds, so that’s what we’re going with.”

ASB’s logical view of the situation brings a new perspective to the table: although unliked, the theme was picked by a fair vote.

Although there is controversy around the theme, there is more to spirit week at Paly. Similarly to Kapadia, junior Rori Escudero thinks that the debates won’t really have a big effect on Paly’s school spirit.

If people want to have spirit, they’ll find a way to have spirit, no matter what the theme is.”

— Rori Escudero, junior

“If people want to have spirit, they’ll find a way to have spirit, no matter what the theme is,” Escudero said.

Students feel so adamant about this issue because spirit week is one of the most looked forward to weeks of the school year, largely due to the fact that students enjoy the sense of community it brings to school, and the playful banter it creates between grades.

“The academics at our school are definitely very competitive and stressful at times,” Kapadia said. “It’s just nice to have a little breather and have some fun as a school. Everyone enjoys it, even the teachers and the admin.” 

The love of spirit week often comes from a student’s desire to find a sense of belonging. From rallies to float building, it’s the perfect place to make new friends and expand social circles.

“[Spirit week] also gives an opportunity for a lot of students to interact with others in a more comfortable way,” junior Oliver Schmidt said.

At the moment, it seems like spirit week will likely still be enjoyed by the student body as it holds decades of tradition, and that the genuine disagreement will soon turn into the carefree, well-intentioned competitions Paly has grown to love.

Featured art by Sarah Sheaffer