Illuminating This Year’s Under the Lights

By Alex G. ’21

Usually at this time of year, halfway through spirit week, everyone in the Winsor community would be looking forward to Under the Lights on Friday. Students would be scrambling to put finishing touches on the cheers, hyping up teams for the big games, and inviting friends and family to join in the festivities. However, UTL will undoubtedly look different this year as there will be no pep rally, inter-school scrimmages instead of games against rivals, and only athletes allowed to remain on campus. Nevertheless, the 25 year-old tradition of UTL will persist, bringing with it modified, but just as exciting, activities. In the middle of a global pandemic, the Winsor community will look to spirit week and UTL more than ever for school spirit and unity. 

Students Advocating for School Spirit (SASS) organizes and leads both spirit week and UTL every year. As their club’s name indicates, school spirit is always their guiding principle when designing the two events, but this year in particular the leaders of SASS wanted to further increase the “sense of community even though we can’t all be together,” according to SASS head Caroline C. ‘21. Caroline and her co-heads, Ellie P. ‘21 and Catherine F. ‘21, have devised a plan for UTL that will preserve its characteristic competitive nature. In planning for the event, the heads “wanted to make [UTL] feel as normal as possible,” according to Caroline. “UTL is definitely one of the events that defines students’ Winsor experiences, and although it might look a little bit different this year, our goal is to maintain the sense of community that UTL always brings and still provide an opportunity for fun.”

What specifically should we expect from this Friday’s event? The lower school had their UTL yesterday, so we have a good model for what the upper school’s on Friday will look like. Of course, everyone will be dressed in red like every year, so we should expect no decline in costume creativity! To commend the creativity of the best costumes of the whole week, SASS will be giving out the traditional costume prizes as well. Every student will also be sent a Winsor UTL shirt, so even students who attend school virtually can join in the school spirit. For athletics, each fall sports team will be divided into two teams, the Wild and the Cat, that will compete against each other to earn points for their respective overarching teams. After UTL, all the points will be tallied and the members of either the Wild or the Cat team will receive a surprise prize.

Despite the many changes that have had to be made to Under the Lights this year, SASS has created a modified version of this tradition that will preserve the essence of UTL. Caroline even said that SASS is looking to host another UTL-like event in the spring to complement Friday’s activities and further lift up the community. So, ready your costumes and get excited for Friday!