The Athletic Office replaced end-of-season athletic assemblies with much less intrusive athletics banquets for varsity athletes. The first one was held last night. The old assembly format took the space of one school meeting per season and tended to run long, sometimes significantly.
Athletic Director Mr. Clavel explained the decision-making process:
As a former high school and college athlete, all athletic awards ceremonies I attended were held as a dinner [or] banquet. In fact, in all my four years as a Blair student-athlete, we celebrated the student-athletes in the dining hall during a dinner very similar to what just occurred. Speaking to other athletic directors, [the] majority of them have an athletic awards dinner and not an assembly. Typically, an athletic awards banquet at schools are formal attire, have guest speakers, and parents are invited… they make it a huge deal.
While the student reaction was generally positive, some complained about the closing of the main dining room to the rest of the school during the buffet. The rest of the Blair population did not fit easily into the round room and family room during a shortened dinner period. Apart from this, there were very few inconveniences resulting from the policy change.
Some students, like Anthony Mack ’17 said “I really wish there was [an assembly]” because “as a winter athlete I want to be there with the community– students, even faculty kids– to support our fall athletes.”
Many students were pleased with the change, however. Noah Helck ’17, a Varsity Soccer player, told The Oracle “I liked [the dinner] better than the school meeting,” and Irene Choi ’18 said it was “considerate” of the school given the “overwhelming amount of work” that students have at this time of year.
While it is still to be seen whether holding a banquet accomplishes the goals of the Athletic Office and the Administration, it is clear that the student body supports this change.
(Copyright 2016 Tys Sweeney)