Senior Night ‘hazing’ is necessary tradition


McDaniel's Photography

Past Sycamore student Lindsay Altemuehle hugs senior members of the Flyerettes Dance Team on Senior Night. Last year, the Flyerettes dressed up their underclassmen and juniors in vintage dance costumes. Fortunately, they were not disciplined by the administration, but other teams have been.

One of the most looked forward to benefits of being a senior athlete is Senior Night.  Four years and hundreds of hours of practice has led to that moment when you finally step on the court, field, or into the pool for the last time at a home game.

The long-standing tradition has been for the seniors to dress up the underclassmen in comical outfits.  Past costumes have been dressing up like old cat ladies, wearing footed pajamas, and even dressing like the opposite gender.

However, last year, administrators told some sports teams to change out of their outfits and labeled the act of seniors dressing up younger team members as hazing.

A huge misconception is that the underclassmen are forced to wear the silly outfits, but the contrary is true.  No one is forced to do anything.  Participation is not by any means mandatory which does not constitute it as hazing.

Obviously, hazing, bullying- or whatever the politically correct term for making fun of underclassmen is- should not be acceptable. However, that is not what Senior Night and dressing up underclassmen is about.

The intention is to draw attention to sport’s last home game and to get students to come out and support their team.  Wearing spirit wear or regular clothes would not highlight that it is Senior Night any more than a short announcement over the PA would.

Looking back at last year’s events, it was clear to see that the seniors had been so suffocated with rules and restrictions that they found it difficult to celebrate their final year of high school.

I do not want to see this problem repeat itself, and one way to avoid it is to reinstate the traditions of Senior Night.

Change is something we are taking pride in, and Senior Night traditions should be included in this, because after three long, grueling years of high school, we only want to reap the rewards we have rightfully earned.