Graphic by Chloe Girod

Update: Recently, the Class of 2019 class council met with administration and the theme was cancelled. Voting for a new theme will take place in classes through a paper poll to ensure better voter turnout.

The opinions expressed in this article are not shared by all of the senior class, but I do speak for some when I say that Egyptian Pharaohs should not be the senior pep rally theme for more reasons than one.

Some may be unaware, but this theme was chosen by a previous senior class fairly recentlyjust a year before the Class of 2019 were freshmen. Some seniors’ siblings used the same theme while they attended this school. We have hit the bare minimum threshold for the rules about Pep Rally themes. As an arts school that prides itself on creativity and originality, this is a far cry from the principles we often preach.

Not only does this go against our artistic values, but after hip-hop day was cancelled due to the controversy and complaints, how is this theme any different? Both have the same connotation and both are inappropriate to dress up as. By pointing out the similarities, I am not suggesting that we keep hip-hop day, but pointing out the hypocrisy in this decision’s principles.

Of course, not everyone agrees that this is offensive. Many individuals are taking stereotypes or gross generalizations and turning them into a costume for enjoyment. Reminder: Cultures are not costumes. The theme Egyptian Pharaohs is thinly veiling the blanket statement Egyptians, which is indeed a culture.

Since this has been a debate on campus, that means there is a considerable amount of students taking offense to the theme. If someone is offended, another person doesn’t have the right to tell them they should not be. One person does not speak for everyone on either side. If we can make choices that aren’t semi-offensive, this topic would not be stirring on campus. The senior class had inoffensive alternatives that would make for a great pep rally theme, that I for one am going to miss not being able to be a part of.

If someone is offended, another person doesn’t have the right to tell them they should not be.”

If the rest does not get your attention, maybe this will: the Internet is forever. I understand that many just want to look “cute” on their last pep rally without worrying about the consequences; but, if there is a fraction of the school that finds this offensive, anyone can bet there will be people who view our videos and find it offensive as well. With the current culture of online media and an audience that anticipates some of these videos, it would not be difficult for this to go viral and for the school and the people who organized this to be labeled offensive, even if some students disagree or were not a part of the problem.

For clarification, this theme was voted on by the senior class and not chosen by the senior class council. This article is not meant to place blame on the members of class council. Additionally, even if the senior class voted for this theme, this doesn’t mean its impact can be ignored.

Regardless if you agree or not, these concerns need to be taken into consideration before Spirit Week comes, both in class planning and in what individuals decide to do or wear. I hope my expectations are let down. I hope we can see each other’s perspectives. I hope everyone finds a way to enjoy themselves.