Everyone has a Green Team sweatshirt, but Green Team isn’t for everyone

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“With 35 interscholastic sports, more than 150 student clubs, a strong intramural program, and performing arts opportunities throughout the school year, New Trier truly offers something for everyone” is the abstract written on our school’s webpage for extracurriculars.

And it’s not wrong: We have a cereal club, a fishing team, a radio station, even a club dedicated to Super Smash Brothers. To encompass the diversity of our senior student body, we have a nickname: Green Team.

Green Team was created in 2004 by then-assistant football coach Brian Doll as a way to unify the senior body in an effort to encourage more students to go to athletic events. When Doll left New Trier, however, it became an exclusive group for seniors based on social status.

Though Green Team has been revamped since then, the Captains are still chosen on a very selective basis and usually follow the same pattern; they are well-known seniors who play well-known sports such as basketball, football, or hockey.

The only way to be elected as a Green Team captain is to be nominated by former Green Team captains, thus there is an endless cycle of the same type of person being chosen to represent this large student body.

Many New Trier seniors play popular sports, but we also have fencers, bowlers, debaters, musicians, artists. Those students deserve to be celebrated and represented just like kids on the football team are — they are part of the Green Team too. They wear the same sweatshirt every Friday, they have performances and exhibitions that should be attended as an athletic event is.

Thus, there must be a change in the practice of choosing a Green Team Captain. Instead of allowing former captains to choose new captains, there should be a way for every upcoming senior to be able to apply, with a Google Forum or something.

These students could be interviewed or evaluated further by the former Captains or faculty to establish the leadership for the next year. But the ones that are chosen should represent more activities than just the largest sports, so Green Team can better accomplish its goal of increasing student participation in school events.

The Green Team Captains class of 2018 was the first one to have females on it, and I think it’s great that Green Team has made strides to become more inclusive. But the only way to truly change the composition of the Green Team Captains is to change the way that students are elected.

If you want more students to attend school events, they need to feel represented within the leadership that governs them. They cannot be represented if they do not even have a chance to be elected due to a system where friends nominate friends.

Green Team could be an excellent way to spur more school spirit, but it requires strong changes in the system. New Trier has a population of kids with a large variety of interests, and that ought to be celebrated.

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