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The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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On Monday, June 10, the annual Underclassmen Awards ceremony took place inside of WHSs auditorium.

I think that these awards bring motivation to [WHS] students to preform well academically, Sophomore Rufat Hasanov said.
WHS hosts the annual Underclassman Awards ceremony
June 15, 2024
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Opinion: Can we really wear what we want at WHS? C.E.NO!

WSPNs+Maddie+Zajac+discusses+the+backlash+the+girls+varsity+volleyball+team+faced+for+their+CEO+psych+from+an+administrator.
Credit: Courtesy of the Wayland girls varsity volleyball team
WSPN’s Maddie Zajac discusses the backlash the girls varsity volleyball team faced for their “CEO” psych from an administrator.

Note from the editors: WSPN prides itself on being an unbiased, open forum for students to express themselves and their opinions. While WSPN aims to represent all voices, the student opinion articles expressed on WSPN do not represent the views of the publication or WSPN’s staff as a whole. An opinion piece, denoted by the title including the word “opinion” before it, is a piece that solely represents the views of the author(s). For more information, please see our opinion policy.

 

Wayland student athletes, like those of many other high schools, enjoy representing their sports team and other school programs by engaging in fun activities on game day. One of the most common ways to show support are team “psychs,” where a team collectively dresses up the same way on game days. These psychs could be anything from wearing the same color, dressing up in a silly outfit, or adopting a theme.

Some examples of psychs that sports teams have done at Wayland High School before are “pink out,” “tourists” and “tutus.” This year, the Wayland girls volleyball team chose to adopt a theme that has been done multiple times during previous seasons: “CEO.” For this psych, team members wore blazers and ties to school on the day of their playoff run-up game.

But what would you think, if in the midst of a fun activity like this, you were interrogated, called out and shamed for dressing up to support your sports team? It’s no secret that the female athletes around the world have been unable to escape gender roles and the stereotypes surrounding them. Just recently, the Wayland girls volleyball team experienced backlash against their “CEO” psych.

Members of the team were told by an administrator that their choice of clothing, specifically their ties, was “challenging their femininity,” according to varsity captain senior Dasha Tveretinova. Many of the team members disagreed with what they were being told, and felt that they shouldn’t be told what to wear.

“[There was discussion that] the ties were basically a male dominated accessory, and how it was promoting the [idea] that women can’t be CEOs or that women aren’t as smart as men,” team member Samantha Lee said.

The comments the girls on the team received concerned some of them.

“Everyone should be able to wear whatever they want no matter what gender or sexual orientation they are,” Tveretinova said. “It made me and my teammates feel not important, or less important than the boys, because it felt like we couldn’t wear certain clothes because we were women.”

You might be asking if these team members were breaking any rules, and the answer is no. According to the WHS Student Handbook, “Students are expected to wear clothing suitable for a learning environment,” and that the school considers “clothing that is excessively revealing.” Although some may disagree with the context of the CEO outfits the team collectively chose to wear, there was ultimately no dress code broken, therefore no comments should have been made. It should also be noted that some female WHS staff frequently wear suits and ties, along with other silly costumes to represent or get engaged with the school community and spirit.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time this issue has arisen at WHS. There were also similar issues with the girls’ soccer and field hockey teams, who faced similar problems when they dressed in the CEO psych last year. According to students at WHS, members of these two teams were called out and accused of “crossdressing.”

Crossdressing is the act of wearing clothes traditionally or stereotypically associated with a different gender. Historically, people have used cross-dressing to disguise, comfort, entertain or express themselves. The students on the volleyball team did not expect the type of comments they would receive solely because of the clothes they were wearing.

Psychs are meant to be fun. There is no harmful or hateful intent behind it whatsoever. Dressing up and being involved in the psychs is not only a great way to represent and promote the athletics program, but it also serves as a chance to unify a team and bring them closer together. It creates a welcoming and fun environment where student athletes, of all genders, can feel like a part of their team and have some fun while doing it.

“[The CEO psych] is one of my favorite psychs,” Tveretinova said. “I look great in the CEO clothes. It’s comfortable, but it’s also cool. I think it’s a really good psych.”

It’s no secret that historical stereotypes and discrimination can have long-lasting effects on our communities, but it’s surprising to feel the current impact from those stereotypes in our schools, which are meant to be a safe space for all. WHS claims to be an inclusive and all welcoming environment, but the way this issue was handled doesn’t seem to illustrate that. It should be emphasized to WHS administration and the Wayland community that the way students dress should not be perceived through a political lens, if possible.

As a society, we need to do a better job of dissolving stereotypes that label clothing as “feminine” or “masculine.” We want students of WHS to know that they can wear whatever they feel comfortable in, whether for a team psych or not. In the end, we’re still young and we can only control so much at our school, but it is important to remember that students assimilate what we are taught.

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About the Contributor
Maddie Zajac
Maddie Zajac, Staff Reporter
Maddie Zajac, Class of 2026, is a first year reporter for WSPN. She plays on the Wayland junior varsity volleyball team during the fall. Outside of school she enjoys club volleyball, painting, baking and spending lots of time with her friends. Contact: [email protected]
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