The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Opinion: Last night’s Homecoming was disappointing

Adrian Wilson
The mosh pit was where the negatives of homecoming, the shoving and the sub-par music delivery, were most clearly seen

Homecoming is an American high school classic, so it’s disappointing that last night’s Homecoming wasn’t particularly great.

When I think of a Woodside Homecoming, I think very positively. The school has a large, dedicated leadership team organizing a great theme and event, a group of security and staff making sure homecoming is safe, and beverages, snacks, tables, and bathrooms, all close to the dance center. Homecoming itself, in my opinion, is a chance to put on something nice, dance with friends, and have fun.

The main factor contributing to this lamentable experience last night was the mosh pit, and the two main factors making the mosh pit disappointing were the audio and the level of chaotic, borderline violence.

I arrived fairly early to homecoming, around 7:25, as the line was quite long. People were mingling on the dance floor and it was yet to become truly crowded with dancing students. Soon after, the floor became increasingly like one would expect, with more people and more dancing. However, things started quickly getting overly rough. For reference, I was near the center of the mosh pit.

Unlike the previous Woodside Homecoming I’d been to, things were much more physical. I found it to be even more tightly packed than in past years and found myself getting leaned on and pushed much more, to the point where I and others had to actively focus on balancing and not falling down.

More alarming were the actual signs of violence I heard and saw. One sophomore girl near the center gave out calls to “fight.” I noticed students having to squeeze out of the mosh pit to examine what looked to be blood stains on their white shirts. At one point, a student doing a handstand in the open center of the mosh pit received a strong push on his calves from the side, sending him tumbling mid-handstand into the crowd.

At around 8:30 or so, out of what I think was frustration at the level of shoving, one student in the center of the mosh pit roughly pushed another student, calling him the N-word, and stating “do something about it” in a heated attempt to start a fight. Adding to my shock at this situation were the giggles, rather than alarm, I heard in the surrounding crowd (other students eventually attempted to calm the students down, and the event deescalated as the frustrated student left the dance circle).

“I’ve been to three homecoming dances,” senior Kian Sharifzadeh said. “The mosh pit was way too aggressive and [there was] too much pushing, but the experience was still fun and there was food and a photo booth.”

In the future, more emphasis should be placed on point 11 of the 14 homecoming rules: “Students and guests are expected to dance in a manner that is appropriate for a school event.”

I don’t recall ever being told to take a look at the back of the homecoming ticket to see the rules. Perhaps if students better understood what was expected of them — not shoving so much, for example — this homecoming would have seen less roughness. Either through the announcements, or upon receiving the ticket, or more explicitly on the website (I found the rules by going to the guest pass page of the Woodside website — there is no other mention of the rules on the school website), maybe students receiving more direct instruction on the rules of a mosh pit and homecoming dance would have led to a more fun experience.

There are a variety of potential reasons for the excessive roughness of the mosh pit, but one that may have added to people’s frustration would be the audio.

I found the audio level, choice of song, and for that matter, length of song, to be second-rate.

For the first 2 hours at least, it was more difficult than it should have been to hear the music. In the center of the dance floor, while I had no problem hearing the base of the music, I struggled to make out the lyrics and melody.

Music that was inappropriate for the occasion was also played — 45 minutes into the dance, the undanceable John Legend’s “All of Me” played. All four and a half minutes of it.

The result was that students began chanting “change the song,” to no avail. Students made a circle in the center of the mosh pit and tried to maintain it until an actual dance song came along by saying “wait it out, wait it out,” in reference to the ill-suited music.

“All of Me” (although a good song) was not the only unbefitting song to be played, and correspondingly, “change the song” was a common holler throughout the dance. Other songs were harder to recognize because of the volume deficiency or were just hard to recognize in general — in other words, most people were unfamiliar with the songs — and thus were also met with that chant.

To the DJ’s credit, many songs played were met with enthusiasm, including “FE!N” by Travis Scott ft. PlayBoi Carti, “Mia” by Bad Bunny ft. Drake, and “Last Friday Night” by Katy Perry, among others. It was the lack of consistency in popular music, combined with the subpar volume levels that hurt the dance’s potential, and that I believe may have added to the frustration, exemplified through the aggression of some.

Hopefully, future homecomings can learn from the negatives of last night.

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About the Contributor
Conrad Berke
Conrad Berke, Beat Editor
Conrad Berke is a senior and third-year journalist. He enjoys writing about sports, culture, and opinion pieces. In his free time, Conrad enjoys watching soccer games, listening to music, playing Magic: The Gathering, and spending time with friends and family.

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