Homecoming and spirit week postponed at Eureka


Hub Archived Photo, Ethan Fine

Students watch Homecoming Court during Homecoming 2019.

The fall semester at Eureka High School is filled with spirit events such as spirit week, Homecoming, and Eureka’s annual canned food drive. Due to COVID-19, questions have been raised on whether or not these events can happen.

For some students, they gathered up friends and participated in a Homecoming celebration of their own. Although, students are still searching for answers about having a regular Homecoming.

“We are looking at options because we would like something to celebrate our students and everything we’ve been through,” Andrew Gensler, Head of Student Council said. “However, as you’re probably aware, all of it is dependent upon COVID, the numbers, and what we will be able to safely do because our number one priority is keeping all students and staff safe. To bring people together into an enclosed space with 1500 people in attendance, at this point in time, does not seem like a responsible thing to do.”

Along with Homecoming, a spirit week is a big event that students look forward to.

“I think the plan right now is when and if we’re able to have one, we’d like to go all out and carry on the traditions that we’ve had, so hopefully yes, there would be a spirit week,” Gensler said. “Students who are at home could still dress up and be a part of it, it would just be through Zoom.”

Eureka’s annual canned food drive is another tradition that people look forward to, not only for the competition but giving back to the community.

“We’re working on plans for that right now,” Gensler said. “It won’t be the same because we can’t properly social distance and do the collection, as we’ve had in the past, so it’s more likely going to be a drop and go canned food drive that’s done simply because it’s a good thing to do, rather than a class competition.”

Because the school has been virtual, it’s been uncertain when the canned food drive might happen.

“The thought right now that I have been working on with the Executive Officers is that we’ll probably do it starting the full week after we get back, so we have a couple of days to get into it, and then it will actually be a little bit more informal, but it will go on from then until Winter Break,” Gensler said.

While students are not in the school building, there are many struggles that teachers are having to keep school spirit high.

“Obviously we want to keep the school spirit alive. I think the concern is that a lot of people right now are experiencing a lot of stress and we want to build spirit and community, however sometimes when things are uncertain or not well executed or people don’t participate, it has the opposite effect,” Gensler said. “Say let’s do a virtual spirit week, no one even has their cameras turned on, let alone dresses up. I think it would compound the feeling of defeat. We have a lot of different ideas and just haven’t really been able to come up with anything that we think will really engage people.”

Students also seem to have a difficult time staying involved because everything is virtual.

“For anyone who isn’t already, I’d highly recommend following the EHS-Hub Instagram account, which is always putting up polls and posts for you to stay involved with the school and get to know the student body if you’re an incoming Freshman,” Nolan Ortinau (10), said. “If you’re comfortable, sports are also allowing limited spectators, and if you’re able to attend, sports tend to be a big source of school spirit normally. I also know that some clubs are working to meet virtually and keep operating. The Eureka Theatre Company, for example, is filming a show and planning to stream it virtually in December. Joining these clubs if you have an opportunity is also a great way to get involved and stay involved.”

As students, it is saddening to have uncertainty about whether or not these Eureka traditions will happen this year.

“I really miss spirit weeks the most, because even if you have an idea of who’s gonna win from the beginning it’s always fun to give it your all and pull out all the stops for your outfits during those weeks,” Ortinau said. “I’m also disappointed that we didn’t get to have our homecoming game and pep assembly because those can get super crazy and it’s a lot of fun.”

As coming back to the school building approaches, safety is something that everyone all teachers have in mind.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to have school spirit back and to do as many events as we normally do, as long as we can do them safely,” Gensler said. “The message I have for all students is the more we can practice the things we’re supposed to be doing, mask-wearing, social distancing, in not only our school but also in our personal lives, the sooner we can send Coronavirus packing and hopefully get something close to normal.”

Not only do teachers have safety in mind, but students as well.

“We’re all feeling the effects of quarantine, some more than others, but when we get back to school we’ve got to work together to make all of our necessary precautions to keep each other safe. Keep your distance, wear your mask, and we’ll start to see things get better a whole lot quicker than they would have otherwise,”  Ortinau, said.

With lots of uncertainty about spirit week, Homecoming, and the canned food drive, students and staff are trying to make the best of the year and strive to make these events happen.