ASB Winter Events

Saahithi Gaddipati, Copy Editor

School is stagnant. As crisp, orange leaves shrivel to a dry brown, the steady routine of assignments and tests swallow IHS corridors. It is easy to get lost amidst the endless work for classes and dismiss the subtle changes into winter, making the school’s attempts to celebrate winter a crucial part in the seasonal changes. 

Despite the gloomy weather and accumulating stress as finals approach, the school’s ASB classes work hard to bolster school spirit. ASB, the associated student body, is composed of various IHS students who then choose to split themselves into departments. Among these, the ones most notable for winter festivities are the “events” and “decorations” departments. These two departments’ efforts work in tandem to bring the school to its current state of winter-perfect. 

A major event that ASB hosts in winter is Winterfest, which encompasses not only the Winterfest assembly, but also the connection and spirit weeks before students leave for winter break. Senior Tyler Innes comments on the differences between spirit and connection week, stating, “Connection weeks are things like raffles, and they lead up to the spirit week, which is essentially just dressing up.” He goes on to elaborate, stating, “I prefer spirit week because you can dress up with your friends and do fun activities.” Spirit week is much more interactive than connection week, with students not only being able to dress up, but also tagged and posted on the ASB story, helping further school spirit, as an online community is being created. Meanwhile, connection weeks are meant for ASB to give to the student body in return for participation during spirit week activities. Junior Riva Naidu agrees with looking for  “something interactive” in ASB events. She continues, “I especially like the winter wishes event, because it is a creative and different idea that a lot of other students may not have, and every student can participate in it.” Winter wishes is an ASB hosted event that runs before winter break. In this event, students can write down items they would like, and other students can grant these wishes, either by themselves, or through the ASB assembly. ASB member and junior Priyanka Subramanian outlines the response to winter wishes, stating that “a lot of people are requesting winter wishes,” and that students are getting involved with the event. So, it is not just the regular events that attract student participation, more unorthodox events like winter wishes can do this as well. Subramanian states, “Every year, one passion project [per ASB member] is required for each semester.” These passion projects allow ASB to expand their reach, with events like gratitude grams and theme song Thursdays both being passion projects. 

Although passion projects are not required to be finished during the winter holiday season, it typically ends up working out that way, due to the semester requirement. With this, passion projects can be geared towards certain holidays, as can be seen with the gratitude grams, which fell around Thanksgiving and perfectly capitalized on the theme of gratuity embedded in the holiday. Of course, with these options comes ASB’s responsibility to ensure equal representation. Junior Parin Thakkar states, “We never put up anything specifically related to one holiday because we know the school is a very diverse place, and we do not want to make people feel left out.” Thakkar goes on to elaborate that he finds himself asking “if everyone can relate” as a basic criteria for events. 

Although there are a plethora of inclusive events within the school, oftentimes students are not there to witness them. Naidu says, “I was not there for the winterfest assembly last year, because they held it right before break and I was traveling.” However, ASB still sets the winter ambiance through decorations, the most notable of which is a giant inflatable snowman situated in the commons. Freshman Matthew Finnigan states, “If I stay after school to work on a project, people will relate it to the snowman, and use it as a locator as a place to meet.” Almost 20 feet tall, the inflatable brings a holiday cheer and smile to students’ faces during lunch and passing period, with many students calling it their “favorite decorations.” Of course, there are other decorations that add to the theming, sophomore Carrie Callans stating that “the balloons made it festive in the commons and the decorations all over hallways are very cool as well.” As Collins puts it, “because [the decorations] give you something to look at and act as some sort of stimulus, they turn your brain on to the holiday time of the year.” 

These events and decorations all contribute to winter festivities at IHS, and hype students up for winter break, providing a nice transition from seemingly endless tests to blissful weeks of free time. Innes says, “Things like holiday music playing in the mornings makes people feel like they are walking into a festive environment, which is nice.” ASB’s hard work towards winterfest and their various other events and passion projects has definitely paid off, as students are put at ease and more acclimated to the holiday season.