Camaraderie and community: legacies and their profound importance

Hackley senior traditions need to be preserved and valued by administrators and students alike


By The Editorial Board

Traditions are crucial aspects of our culture. As a nation, tailgating, watching Super Bowl commercials, and Black Friday shopping sprees are ingrained into our customs. For high school students, senior parking lots, senior pranks, and senior skip days have been traditions for decades, etched into the American high school culture by a stream of “chick-flick” movies, teen dramas, and novels. These traditions continue in schools across the United States, and, until very recently, Hackley School. We believe it is important to maintain such traditions, not only to commemorate senior year, but also to form bonds and celebrate friendship and community.

This year, the administration put an end to a popular tradition, Senior Skip Day. A day marked for grade-wide events, like going to the beach or hosting parties, seniors used Skip Day as an opportunity to celebrate the end of their high school career. With all senior students invited to events, it became a lasting memory– the perfect way to end a long four-year and, for some, 13-year Hackley career.

Other traditions like senior pranks and college shirt day have long been eliminated from Hackley’s culture, signifying yet another loss of customs that continue throughout high schools across the United States. Prior to its end, senior pranks at Hackley ranged from sleepovers along the Raymond corridor, to covering the Quad with plastic forks, to boarding up the sophomore bubble with plastic wrapping. Though some pranks were fun and silly, some that limited access to certain areas, like the sophomore bubble, constituted real dangers to members of the community. The Editorial Board understands the security concerns of the Hackley administration. Above all, the students’ safety must remain the primary concern, but should the possibility of being harmed limit our choices and activities? After all, students participate in high physical-contact sports which can result in broken bones or torn muscles. Like sports teams, senior pranks can be dangerous, but just as sports teams do, senior pranks create a sense of community and camaraderie. Both rely on cooperation, creativity, and passion. What separates sports teams and senior pranks is supervision, or lack-thereof, and communication.

The trust formed between the administration and the senior class plays a crucial role in reinstating traditions like senior prank day and senior skip day. Because safety remains imperative to deciding its restoration, strong communication and feedback between the class and the deans about events/activities planned may be the solution to safety concerns. Further, the students need to be responsible. Responsible in making decisions and responsible in owning up to their actions. It is time for students to take responsibility for our own actions and generate possible solutions to restore these traditions, whether it be senior class officers meeting with the administration to discuss steps towards change or the senior class informing the dean on all their plans, students must step up to their roles.

Traditions matter. They contribute a sense of belonging and camaraderie. They celebrate community, friendships, and the individual. They create long-lasting memories and reinforce a community’s values. As such, it is crucial for Hackley to maintain senior traditions. Changes may be necessary in the communication between the senior class and the administration, but ultimately the trust to uphold Hackley’s values must be restored. Whether this can be achieved by stronger communication or placing restrictions on pranks or activities, it is essential to bring back these traditions.