Just another rite of passage?


Stephanie Cervantes

After the MCHS booing tradition was banned at the first assembly of the school year, it was obvious that not everyone was happy about this new practice.

When I say freshmen, you say – BOO? Not quite the warmest welcome, huh. Well, it’s how MCHS has greeted new freshmen for years – that is until now. We all got the email from Mr. Voight a few days before our first assembly threatening to cancel it if we continued our little tradition. The angry Instagram stories and Snapchat posts were everywhere – a petition even. Is it a harmless rite of passage or an old tradition that never stopped?

The first assembly of the year was held Friday, August 16 and we received the email three days prior on August 13. The email talked about how booing the freshman was becoming inappropriate and that we should create a safe environment for all. A few days after the assembly a letter from Mrs. Storms was sent as to why she asked Mr. Voight to prevent the booing; a lot of points were made, but it essentially asked us to be more kind at MCHS in a world of hatred. As for the day of the assembly, there were a few boos heard in the crowd but for the most part, students respected this new rule. 

Sophomore Armando Echeverria was one of only a few students happy to hear that booing was banned this year. When asked if we were being too sensitive, he said, “No we aren’t being too sensitive, we’re just being considerate of others’ feelings and realizing a problem that should have stopped years ago.” 

Echeverria also goes on to say that even if you’re not bothered by it others could be, saying that we don’t know what others are going through or have been through. Freshmen chose Middle College for its family-like feeling and by booing them we lose that. 

This got me thinking about how freshmen felt at school. Sophomore Leslie Rangel said, “I never actually felt unwelcomed. I understood that booing was a tradition and it was a joke meant light-heartedly.” She said that outside of the assembly, upperclassmen were really nice and wanted to talk to her. 

Rangel had a good experience her freshman year because she was willing to step out of her comfort zone and join clubs – but what about the freshmen who aren’t so confident. This could explain why most clubs lack participation from our freshmen – perhaps if we cheered them on they’d feel more comfortable. 

I wanted to ask freshmen or the class of 2023 what it meant for them to be the first-class not to get booed at Middle College. Freshman Jennifer Lopez said, “ I thought it was a fun tradition but I’m ok with it being canceled because I can see how it can hurt someone’s feelings”

Sophomore Manuel Ramos was one of many students here at MCHS who disagreed with the banning of booing saying that, “ Not only is it really funny but it welcomed me to high school.” He knows that the intentions behind the tradition aren’t negative and it’s how you interpret it that’s the problem. 

Ramos took it to the next level by saying that if people aren’t comfortable with being booed they can wait outside during the assembly or simply boo everyone – but the seniors of course. He said it adds to the excitement of becoming a senior. 

“We can boo and clap,” says Leslie Rangel jokingly.