Is Wacky Week… Weak?

Saorise Hoitink, Journalist

After a long absence, the most anticipated event of the year, Wacky Week finally returned this March under a slightly different format: a less competitive Wacky Week. Mr. Foley and the leadership team made a decision to attempt to make Wacky Week less competitive this year with multiple opportunities for different year groups to win to try to take away the focus of one big winner. 

 

What drove this change? Mr. Ivett, the previous school principal, explained that Wacky Week was created many years ago by two members of the Student Council. The aim was to bring year groups together and create a more spirited school environment. According to Mr. Foley, the reason Wacky Week had to change with this year’s comeback was because it was creating more division between year groups, particularly Years 12 and Year 13. Wacky Week had lost that amazing ability to unite the community through school spirit, with the sole focus being the desire to win rather than building on connections between year groups. Throughout the years, more and more incidents of negative competition had started to occur.  

 

Nevertheless, Wacky Week remained under its normal rules until 2019. What happened that year? According to Mr. Ivett, 2019 was the first year that Year 12 was allowed to decorate the North campus. Previously, Year 13 had been the only year group allowed to decorate a campus. The Year 12 theme was a music festival and the Year 13 theme was Christmas. That year, Year 12 was determined to win. They wanted that sense of accomplishment and, of course, the ability to gloat to the Year 13s. Their efforts paid off and for the first time in many years, Year 12 won. This led to many of the Year 13s feeling upset and angry. Not even the Christmas spirit could help Year 13 win! The events culminated on their last day and unfortunately, Mr. Ivett  saw many students leave school on a negative note. 

 

That evening, Mr. Foley received three emails from different parents of Year 13s saying that their children had come home heartbroken and that losing had ruined their last day of school. One parent even said that Wacky Week should be designed to ensure the victory of Year 13. This was when Mr. Foley knew that the competition in Wacky Week had become unhealthy. It was clear that all anyone cared about was winning. He felt that the negatives of Wacky Week had begun to outweigh the positives. 

  

Wacky Week went ahead under the new guidelines; but regardless of the changes this year, Mr. Foley felt that there was still an incident that displayed the negative aspects of competition and justified Wacky Week’s redesigned format. 

 

Wacky Week 2022 started with an all time favourite of many of the students: “Run Buggy Run”. During the competition, Year 10 were eliminated in a decision which was seen as controversial to some, and it led to protests and accusations of bias and injustice towards the teacher referees and the student council, from the affected year group.  Year 10 felt that a second chance was justified, but ultimately the decision, which was taken by the teachers refereeing the game, stood, and Year 10 were eliminated from the game.

 

Year 10 spirits were low that afternoon. In an attempt to lift spirits, some students in Year 10 sent out an email to the year group accusing the student council of ‘corruption’ and ‘misconduct’. The students misunderstood that the decision was in fact made by the supervising teachers. Their reaction to the results of the competition had unintended but far reaching, more public effects.  

 

In the end, the students involved sent out apologies over social media and emails to the student council events team director and their fellow Year 10s. They also had meetings with both teachers and the student council events team director. For the Year 10s, their reaction was supposed to boost the mood of their peers in a satirical and humorous manner, which they later recognised was hurtful to the community and the sense of competitive spirit. 

 

What will happen with competition in the future? Mr. Foley says it is very unlikely Wacky Week will go back to the way it was pre-2019 and that it would take a great deal of convincing for him to change his mind. Nevertheless, he did say that he has no intention of eliminating Wacky Week completely, as he has witnessed it being a very good event that can promote healthy competition, school spirit and bring year groups together. 

 

He says that competition within the school will remain the same, as a little bit is always healthy. Other competitive events such as Sports Day will stay the same. Both Mr. Foley and Mr. Ivett commented on how Sports Day is always an extremely positive day for the whole school and demonstrates healthy competition. 

 

At first students were unhappy about the change in competition, feeling like Wacky Week would be less interesting than it was in previous years. However, now that it has passed it seems like students did not notice a very big change in competition and still enjoyed it. 

It seems that no matter the prizes, shows or competition, Wacky Week will always be a winner.