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Blue Jay 6th Man leaders fail to lead

Leaders announce name change from Blue Jay 6th Man to The Flock

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Blue Jay 6th Man tweeted a poll for new name ideas. Fifty-one percent of voters supported keeping the name the same. Later it was announced that despite the results, the name would be changed to The Flock.

Blue Jay 6th Man tweeted a poll for new name ideas. Fifty-one percent of voters supported keeping the name the same. Later it was announced that despite the results, the name would be changed to The Flock.

Blue Jay 6th Man tweeted a poll for new name ideas. Fifty-one percent of voters supported keeping the name the same. Later it was announced that despite the results, the name would be changed to The Flock.

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Blue Jay 6th Man has filled the stands at football, volleyball and basketball games for years at WHS. Recently, the 2017-2018 leaders of the student cheering section have abruptly changed the name. “The Flock” was announced as the new name on Aug. 20, 2017, around ll o’clock at night. As students’ reactions are divided on which side to support, here are my thoughts on this situation.

Blue Jay 6th Man have been applauded for using social media to get the word out about games and publicity for our school. In years past, throughout many different leaders, the feeling of the group has felt the same. As soon as the new leaders took over, the whole dynamic changed. I’ll be the first one to tell you change is a good thing, but there is a tasteful way to do things and the attitude of “The Flock” is not one of them.

On Aug. 19, 2017, Blue Jay 6th Man tweeted a Twitter poll asking, “In a hypothetical situation, if we changed the name of the 6th man, which is best?” The choices were Blue Man group, Flight Crew, The Flock or Keep it 6th man. After 24 hours and 321 votes, “Keep it 6th man” won the majority of the votes.

When I first saw the Twitter poll, I thought it was a great idea. Our 6th Man shows up for more than just basketball games, thus requiring a name that supports more than basketball. At the time it wasn’t clear which name was going to win, but there was already some controversy. Alumni were upset, and it wasn’t until I thought about how past leaders were going to feel when I understood what the tradition of Blue Jay 6th Man means.

The Twitter poll in essence was a great idea. People started talking about 6th Man; which isn’t this what school involvement is all about, everyone having a voice and getting involved? Fundamentally there were problems. On a Twitter poll there is no way to control who votes, which raises the question as to whom is this name change up to? Another problem is that not every student has Twitter. If someone really cared about this whole thing, but they didn’t have Twitter, how are they suppose to have a voice? The biggest problem, however, is the fact that all these tweets had the word “hypothetically” listed in it. At the end of the day, it was obvious that no matter what the results would have been, the leaders were going to do as they pleased.

Being the leader of the WHS student cheering section means you represent the whole school district. Little kids come to games and see high schoolers having fun, being a little too loud and loving the Blue Jay name. Parents and grandparents fill in for Blue Jay 6th Man when no one shows up. When students do come, the parents are still there supporting WHS. High school students have spent their whole lives waiting to be a part of something bigger than themselves.  Changing tradition by filming a video that only represents four of the 1350 students to announce a new name isn’t leadership. Leadership is having a new idea, listening to what students have to say and moving forward from there. “The Flock” isn’t what students had to say; “Keep it 6th man” isn’t what students had to say either because only 321 people voted. We have a whole year of athletics and activities to support, there is no need to rush into anything.

I hope that the leaders will take into consideration other people’s feelings and decide if this much controversy is worth it. Just because people are talking doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. If people don’t want change, it’s not your job to change their opinion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and as a leader, your job is to take the majority of the opinion and do what is best for everyone, not just yourself.

At the end of the day, I will still support every athletic team at WHS not because of the name of the student section, but because of my Blue Jay pride.

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The student news site of Washington High School
Blue Jay 6th Man leaders fail to lead