Last Tuesday night, a wave of cheers erupted in the silence of the library as the newly appointed Blue Key Heads (BKH) took a victory lap through the Garver Room. Now the purveyors of campus spirit and pride, these ten individuals have the responsibility of creating a welcoming community for all Andover students and fostering school spirit. Among a number of key traits, a BKH must be friendly, loud, energetic and, most importantly, a role model. BKH auditions are therefore meant to test how effectively an applicant can entertain, rile up and unite a crowd in school spirit.
Unfortunately, many of the auditions held last week did not reflect some of these necessary traits. Sexual and hostile behavior became commonplace and over-the-top acts dominated Lower Right, leaving much of the community in shock. Paresky Commons was consistently littered with plates and cups by the end of an audition slot, lap dances were performed generously and condoms were even strewn about the floor.
In the serenade portions of the auditions, there appeared to be a fundamental change in the delivery of the performances. In previous years, although the some auditions were suggestive, overly sensual performances were not the norm. Because of the enthusiastic responses by members of the audience, the applicants felt compelled to continue and build upon these overly sexual routines.
Serenades should test an applicant’s ability to perform under the pressure of a large and unfamilar audience—a scenario that BKHs will encounter at athletic contests. Risque, oversexed dancing is in no way part of representing Andover. Teachers and their children, as well as prospective students and their parents watched the auditions. Some onlookers even felt the need to leave the room because the performance exceeded the fun, light-hearted nature of previous years’ auditions.
These auditions should be conducted in a manner that exemplifies the actual duties of Blue Key Heads. When next year’s round of auditions arrive, applicants, as well as the audience, should remember that shock-value is nothing in comparison to genuine spirit. The energy and enthusiasm created this year by promoting discomfort can surely be accomplished by other means. In a community that promotes caring and kind-hearted energy, no room remains for ridicule or exploitation.
This Editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board CXXXVI. Due to a conflict of interest, Jake Marrus and Remington Remmel did not contribute to this Editorial.