Should Westmount Abolish the House Colours?

Bennett P.

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If you go to Westmount, you know about the houses and the colours each one is named after. Ever since their establishment in 2012, every Westmount student has been assigned to a house, and then participated in activities with their fellow housemates on Terry Fox day and sports day. Each house also has a corresponding virtue, such as teamwork, honesty, etc. The question this article will explore and evaluate, is should Westmount keep the houses & house colours?  In their simplest form, the house colours act as a gimmick to organize large amounts of kids on these event days. This would be a clever system, if not for what activities are done by house. For the Terry Fox day in 2014, Westmount students could play games with their houses, use their bodies to spell their house virtue, and of course, run. The biggest way you are expected to show support for your house is by wearing your house colours. The list of the eight houses includes: gold, black, orange, silver, green, red, blue, and yellow. One immediate problem with this list is the fact that almost no one in the gold or silver houses has any clothing to match their colour. out of the approximate 55 students in the gold house in 2012, only 9 of them were actually wearing anything gold. This shockingly low number was not for a lack of effort, as about half of all gold house students wore yellow or orange, but the purpose is defeated when there is already both a yellow and an orange house. This problem of colour obscurity could be easily solved by replacing gold and silver with other more popular colours (purple, brown, white, pink, etc.), or by simply lowering the amount of houses. One of the activities done on Terry Fox days is everyone in the houses taking turns cheering because you have house pride, but why would anyone have house pride? It’s not like the houses compete in teams on these days, and 98% of the people in your house you will never see again, because there is nothing significant about what makes the groups. It seems to many that houses aren’t significant in any way except to organize students. One person who doesn’t think the houses are significant resorted to foul language to express his discontent. When asked what he thought about the houses at Terry Fox day 2014, this grade 9 student exclaimed “I-i don’t like it and it’s stupid… …and it’s dumb… and only poopy-bumbums like it.” One issue with Westmount’s Terry Fox days are the enormous amounts of kids who skip school to avoid them. In an interview with a student who skipped the Terry Fox day 2014, he claimed his reasoning was “cuz it’s f****** pointless.” When asked for further information, he said “no one isn’t aware of cancer and the run is stupid.” Is this correct? While it is true that run pledges raise money for cancer research, that money could have come just as easily without the run. This idea makes sense, since students would be more likely to raise money for the cause if their views weren’t clouded with the desire to avoid the run. Another student who chose to remain anonymous stated “I feel like if I donate I don’t really need to go to the run, and since I got other stuff to do I think I’ll just stay home.”. The real question is, what is the ultimate goal of the Terry Fox days? To raise money for cancer research, or to honour the memory of Terry by running. Not all students dislike the house colours, in fact another student remarked “I like my the hour colours. I like that my friends are in the same house as me… like… that’s seriously the only think i like about it.” You can call this a lucky coincidence, but Westmount has taken some steps to ensure you know people in your house, like ensuring all sibling end up in the same house. Another student who supports the houses took a practical view on the topic, when he argued “Without the houses we wouldn’t be organized on Terry Fox days.” This is a good thing to consider. If the houses were abolished, how would we organize ourselves on event days like Terry Fox? Westmount could implement a system where students are organized by class or grade. A better option may be to use a house system, but to abolish the colours, the cheering, the team building activities, and the completely random virtues each house has.

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One thought on “Should Westmount Abolish the House Colours?

  1. I also believe the house colour aspect is primarily for organization, one thing I noticed this year at the terry fox run was the amount of people who switched houses to be with their friends (me included!). The house colours should be abolished and we can be organized into grades because I would have a better terry fox run or sports day with the people I know.

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