Homecoming & Parents Weekend

By Isabella Sobejano ’18

Spirit Week

Coming back from a 4 day DARN weekend, students had the opportunity to dress up in some exciting gear! This year, for the first time ever, students were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite Spirit Week options in an online poll that received over 200 votes. The selected days for Spirit week were Society Color Day, Nationality Day, Clash Day, and Homecoming Shirt Day. On day one, students were encouraged to dress in their own society’s colors, for society points. Students that creatively went beyond the expectations were given extra points to their society. On Wednesday, students were encouraged to dress in an outfit that represented their ethnic background. Many students got creative with this prompt and chose to wear their national flag as a cape. On Thursday, the theme was clash day, so students were allowed to mix and match their outfits. While some debate spurred as to whether wearing two different sports teams was enough to constitute a clash, the day was filled with plenty of plaid and polka dots. Coming to an end of the week, was parents day and homecoming weekend. On Friday, students wore their homecoming shirt to show school spirit while parents attended classes.

Parents/Homecoming Weekend

On October 14th, parents had the opportunity to attend classes with students. This meant that parents could meet with their children’s teachers and see how they were doing in all their classes. Parent’s day was only a half day, but parents were able to spend the entire day with their child. The day was followed by a community lunch and a community dinner at the end of the day. Parents were also able to watch “mini-concerts” in the KCCA of the different ensembles.

Homecoming

During Saturday afternoon, the student body was encouraged to come on out and support Sem against their homecoming football. In front of the largest crowd all year, Sem faced the Kiski school; unfortunately, despite playing well for most of the game, the team lost a heartbreaker, 19-14. Halftime, however, was marked with the presentation of the Alumni Service Awards for outstanding leadership and service to the community, voted upon by students and selected by a panel of Alumnus. Among the eight nominees — Elizabeth Abraham, Paige Allen, Grace Leahy, Abby Straub, Eamon Gibbons, Quang Phan, Roy Phillips, and Andrew Schukraft — the winners were Abby Straub and Roy Phillips.

All In for Autumn Apps

By Samantha Immidisetti ’18

The beginning of autumn holds different meanings for everyone; it might be the changing colors, the crisp air, the smell of firewood, pumpkin spice everything, Halloween night or Thanksgiving dinner. However, there is one thing that surely doesn’t fit in the picture perfect fall scene – college applications.  

The cold air is not the only thing changing in the atmosphere. As deadlines draw closer, seniors have been taxed with the additional burdens of the college process on top of their already strenuous schedules. Of course, everyone reacts to these challenges in different ways. College guidance counselor Ms. Slaff states, “I’ve seen a lot of students handle the college admission process. Some stay on task and where they need to be while others do not…”

Thankfully, the college guidance team understands how daunting the college application process can be. The entire team made themselves available on Sundays in the library to work on students’ essays. They hoped by holding these seminars, students would be encouraged to start working on their essays earlier and would feel as if they had the support they needed. Ms Slaff also mentioned she hoped “students knew that we [the college guidance team] were on their side.”

What initially started as a group of 18 students soon grew to a collection of nearly 30 students. As the size of the seminar grew so did its popularity. Students quickly realized how invaluable the seminars are, just as the college guidance team hoped. Avery Conyngham ‘17 states, “The college application workshops have offered me an environment that helped me avoid procrastination and stay on track for any deadlines I had.”

Not only did the seminars provide a productive space for students to work, it offered a variety of teachers to critique a student’s essay. The range of teachers available would emulate the range of admission officers reading the essays once submitted and would help prevent essays from becoming specially written for a certain audience.

Although popcorn, chocolate bars, Halloween bowls, laptops, and coffee might not be the immediate image of a perfect autumn Sunday, the college application workshops combined the very essence of autumn to create a cozy yet productive atmosphere for students immersed in the college application process.

Dress Code at Sem

By Duncan Lumia ’18

Whether it be work, sports, or education, there always exists a certain dress code in almost all aspects of life. Schools especially reinforce this idea to achieve a sense of professionalism and uniformity in their students. Wyoming Seminary is no different, having enforced a dress code since 1844 when the first scholars arrived the much smaller campus of the past. The dress code still exists today, of course, but it has gone through dramatic change. The old jacket and tie which had prevailed all the way up through the 80s has slowly been replaced with a much more progressive system. However, even with a more relaxed dress code, debate has nonetheless found its way into this ever changing topic.

The current Wyoming Seminary school handbook states that “neatness in dress conveys a professional attitude, self-respect, and a seriousness towards academics.” Many students comply with the dress code with these understandings in mind, however, some students believe that the dress code is a little too lenient in this manner. Olivia Meuser ‘18 stated that “it’s not as professional” and “doesn’t always look super nice.” Ms. Meuser also admitted that she “personally liked being able to wear a sweatshirt, but as a school it’s different.” Many students have rejoiced due to the onset of such a relaxed dress code, but some argue that this easy going culture takes away from that “professional attitude” promoted by the handbook.

On the flip side, a large consensus of community members at Sem agree that a weight has been lifted with this new dress code. In years prior, many dress code related punishments were issued to students who did not fall in line with the system. While this problem still and will always exist, the relaxed dress code has given less of a reason for people to dress inappropriately. Young scholar Christina Kilyanek ‘19 said that “[the dress code] is pretty lenient right now. And we have many more options compared to last year when everyone was always breaking it.”

The deterrence from the slap on the wrist punishments in regards to the dress code is not the only thing that some students say they enjoy about the new policies. Senior Connor “Edohc” Evans ‘17 was adamant in his opinions:

“Sem has considerably stepped down with regard to the dress code. While some people might argue that the new look takes away from a professional appearance, the change has lead to an increase in day to day comfort as well as a drop-off in student stress. The new variety of the dress code means one less thing that students have to worry about, which can make a big difference at a rigorous college prep school like Wyoming Seminary.”

Many students agree with Evans’ relevant statements. There is a certain sense in the community that the burden of dress code outweighs the small drop in professionalism.

Essentially, it is this tenet that defines the whole argument of the new dress code. While some professionalism is lost, much more is gained in the relief that the new dress code provides to students in a fast changing society. It can also be argued that, if the community at large truly cared about the more serious spectrum of dress code, students would still be wearing sport coats and ties to school every day. In this, very little has truly changed in the professional atmosphere from one year to another in regards to a change in dress. The very nature that a dress code exists on any margin implies a difference between informal, outside life, and the internal life and culture of the school where people come to work. Dress code will always be a part of Wyoming Seminary, and even as it adapts to the society it is swirled in, the existence of dress code itself will impact one in a way that any degree of the system would: that by agreeing and following its guidelines, one asserts themselves in the community that fosters such professionalism and work ethic, in suit and tie or flannel.