A homecoming like no other

BVH hosts first outdoor in-person homecoming assembly since pandemic


Madison Almodovar

Homecoming Prince and senior Michael Dimapilis and English Accelerated, IB Literature Higher Level (HL) 1 and 2 teacher and escort Raymond Chhan make their way to the stage. The crowd cheers as Dimapilis takes his seat alongside the rest of the Homecoming court.

On Friday, Sept. 17th, 2021, the Fall Homecoming assembly occurred at the end of fifth period on Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) soccer field. It was the first assembly after a year of distance learning and the first assembly ever done outdoors. Students were dismissed building by building, escorted by their teachers and their seating arrangements were separated by grade level. Once there, students had the choice to settle and watch the assembly or stay in Quiet Rooms offered by teachers. 

The Associated Student Body (ASB) had the responsibility of organizing the Homecoming assembly and spent weeks in preparation for it. The Homecoming court was announced a week before the assembly and had been preparing since then. 

“Student involvement [had a really large impact on the assembly], especially because everyone came back from distance learning. The underclassmen have never experienced an assembly and came out to cheer everyone [on],” ASB Tech Commission member, Homecoming Prince and senior Pablo Shimizu said.

There was tension among ASB members prior to the start of the assembly, as the weeks of planning that went into this new form of assembly would soon come to fruition. ASB members stood anxiously upon the outdoor stage as teachers directed lively students into their grade designated seating areas. A new addition to the assembly that came with the outdoor element included QR codes for students to use to view photos and videos of the event. 

“I’m pretty nervous, I’m excited though,” Assistant Principal of Student Activities Christopher Alvarez said before the assembly started. “We have a great group of ASB, a great group of teachers that have helped me coordinate it and put it together.”

The assembly held a performance by the Get To the Pointe (GTP) dance team and even had games that required student interaction with their phones. However, students shared their concerns about the assembly due to the regulations of face coverings and the placement of the assembly.

“[I felt like if the assembly was held inside], I think I would be able to hear a lot better, a lot louder and people would be more excited, ” assembly attendee and sophomore Diego Beltran said. “Outside, I was a bit distracted and I couldn’t really hear.”

For those that were reluctant about joining the assembly, students were offered to stay inside Quiet Rooms instead of attending the assembly. However, there were little to no people in them.

“I didn’t feel like being in a big crowd in the midst of a pandemic. I didn’t think I would enjoy it,” junior Nadia Lavin said, having chosen to wait in a Quiet Room instead of attending the assembly. “The indoor assemblies were more fun because even though there were less people, everyone was more close together and it was just more fun. You could feel the spirit more.”

Once the assembly finished however, the tension in the air had receded around the campus. Alvarez felt as though “10 thousand weights [were] lifted off [his] shoulders” once the assembly had concluded. Congratulations were shared in the ASB room and the quad as students left for the food fair at the field.  

“It was the most stressful assembly I’ve ever put on,” Alvarez said. “[But] I think that [the assembly] brought memories. [Students] were [in] distance learning for a year and a half and bringing back school culture and pride [will definitely leave] memories.”