Harriton School Spirit: The Contrast Between Then and Now


For many years, Harriton has been known for lacking school spirit compared to neighboring schools. However, this year, President Ali Lasky along with the other Student Council officers— Vice President Lucy Klein, Treasurer Katie Neary, Secretary Sabrina Lee, Sergeant-at-Arms Daniel Fenkel, and Technical Director Adam Gilbert— have prioritized increasing school spirit across all grades, teams, and students. Watching Harriton sporting events change from their characteristically empty stands to packed ones, students and teachers alike have wondered just how this year’s Student Council managed to dramatically boost school spirit. The Banner interviewed President Lasky and Vice President Klein to understand how they achieved this long-standing goal. 


When asked about what changed between last year and now, Lasky and Klein agreed that while there had always been some spirit present, in the past “people were reluctant to dress up because it was not considered ‘cool’ or a popular thing at Harriton.” However, this year has marked a sharp contrast, with both claiming that, “this year, people WANT to be involved, people WANT to have fun and dress up because everyone else is doing it. Spirit days are something people look forward to. We have talked to so many people who actually plan their outfits… It is something that makes our community smile, teachers and students alike.” The two believe that spirit days have made the school closer as everyone joins together to support Harriton teams and clubs. 


So, how were they able to do this? To start, this year Student Council opened a spirit store where they sold items that correlated with each day’s/game’s spirit theme for a relatively low price. While the shop was a good fundraising opportunity for Student Council, this was not the primary purpose. Lasky and Klein clarified that the goal “was to make spirit accessible for everyone so that anyone could participate.” Profits went into general funds for homecoming and other council events. In addition, “the school spirit store created a buzz about spirit days—plus Jax loved doing it. She is the Harriton school spirit queen.” 


Aside from the shop, Student Council has utilized their Instagram account, morning announcements, and emails – arguably more effectively than ever before – in order to reach the entire student population and encourage participation in school-wide spirit days. 


Lasky and Klein’s main goal going forwards is to preserve and grow the school traditions they have started this year, and they hope that the overwhelming support received by the football team continues into the basketball season, Dr. Harriton, HTC one acts, and spring sports. Regarding the continuation of spirit in the coming years, they answered, “we hope to maintain this by giving the underclassmen an example of what Harriton spirit looks like—we want them to… continue this legacy.”


From a glance at the student section during any of the football games this fall, one can immediately notice that the fired-up crowd has doubled in size and energy compared to last year. The school has their Student Council to thank for this notable increase, and the current officers hope that the school stays spirited, as they believe that “with more fun and inclusive spirit days and exciting events (The Hink, Dr. H, etc.), Harriton spirit in 2023 will be just as good, if not better than the fall.”