It’s a Jones thing…right?

A call to action to renew our spirit


Sam Donnell '18

The “Eagles’ Nest” is often found empty on game day

Chants. Songs. Hoots and hollers. The roar of the crowd is too much for the opposing team to take. The sea of school colors flood the field, unifying everyone in the stands. At most schools, this is what every home game looks like. At most schools, this describes the pep rally. At Jones, this is a phenomena that we believe only occurs in movies.

Three years ago, the tradition of the Eagle Games was born.  This pitted each class against each other in a series of challenges. In order to differentiate the classes more easily, a variety of colors were selected to be worn on the day of the games. This means that once a year, a stream of seemingly every color except Jones’ navy blue, enters the school with  as much noise as possible to prove their “spirit.” To be fair, if there was an award for class spirit, Jones would be the obvious recipient, but our system of intra-school competition is the complete opposite of the prestigious and unified Jones “community” that the school sells to prospective parents and kids at every open house. There must’ve been a misunderstanding somewhere along the way, because spirit is about everyone coming together to support and celebrate each other, not fighting for a meaningless Eagle Games victory.

Most members of the Jones community  like to use the excuse that since we don’t have a football team, we can’t have a proper homecoming game. Just take a look at what other schools did this year. Whitney Young recently suspended their football team due to academic issues regarding the majority of their players, so they were forced to change the event to a home soccer game. Instead of sulking in the unexpected change, Whitney students rallied and had just as much, if not more, fun celebrating their athletes at a soccer game instead.

Some will ask “How can it be possible to get to any games with all of the homework Jones gives?” I’d say to take a step back and reevaluate the situation. Jones is full of bright young minds ready to change the world, but let’s be honest, it is not the only place in Chicago where you can find a building full of intelligent kids. Sometimes we get too caught up in our GPAs and ACTs to stop and enjoy what’s happening around us. We have to ask ourselves how students everywhere else are able to hang with friends after school to watch a set of volleyball, or the first half of the basketball game. The amount of support we got years ago when home games were held at Near North’s gymnasium is comparable to the laughably empty bleachers we have become so used to.

The scariest part of all of this is that it has grown a culture of self-loathing among our students. I consistently hear my peers in the hallways and in class brag about how much they hate it here for reason X or how much Jones sucks because of reason Y. I don’t know how else to put it, but everyone who is here chose to be here. When you refer to Jones in the third person when criticizing it, you might as well just criticize yourself. Everyone here is what makes up Jones, not the inanimate building itself. We all decide the experience we get here and we all decide how others perceive us. No one is forcing us to act the way we do; we all have the choice to change it, and that’s exactly what needs to happen.

This year let’s finally come together as one. Let’s participate in after school events. Let’s realize how lucky we are to have the gifts and opportunities we do, and let’s use them to the best of our ability. Let’s show the rest of the city how proud we are to be here and why we show up every morning. Let’s make them wish they were us. Let’s use this year’s homecoming and pep rally to change what we’ve been in the past and let’s pave a way for what we want Jones to be in the future.