The new spirit app brings out the best (and worst) in students

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The new spirit app brings out the best (and worst) in students

Students show their spirit at the game against Canby on Sept 21. The new spirit app has increased participation at games.

Students show their spirit at the game against Canby on Sept 21. The new spirit app has increased participation at games.

Jessica Miller

Students show their spirit at the game against Canby on Sept 21. The new spirit app has increased participation at games.

Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller

Students show their spirit at the game against Canby on Sept 21. The new spirit app has increased participation at games.

By Ashley Sample, Staff Writer

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     Leadership introduced a new app called Spirit this year hoping to get students more involved with school events. It motivates students to go to events by making attendance competitive. Whenever an event is taking place in the area, students are able to gain points based on their location, and the student with the most points wins.

     “The purpose of the Spirit app is to try to encourage people to get engaged in after-school events and come and be spirited and be excited about stuff going on,” leadership advisor Jesse Abell said. The app includes a calendar that lists future school events, as well as a leaderboard that shows rankings based on individual and grade scores.

     “I definitely have seen an increase in attendance, especially with the big prizes attached to it,” ASB’s spirit sport chair, senior Ethan McClelland said. There were a total of 248 students that checked into Tigard’s first home football game against Canby, 112 students that checked into the first football game at Sunset, 55 students who checked into the girl’s home soccer game against Camas, and 150 students that checked into the boy’s home soccer game against Tualatin. 

    “I do think the app is working very well,” leadership member, sophomore Elise Butera said. “I think the[…] competition makes everyone want to go to games they may otherwise skip just to earn those points, which really does help teams seeing students in the fan section.” 

    Unfortunately, some students have found a way to game the system.

     “I think it brings more people to the volleyball games so they can get the points but then they leave. They stay for a set and then leave.” JV volleyball player, junior Paige Daum said. 

     “The only flaw I think the app may have is the fact that you only need to be in the area while a game is happening to get points,” Butera added. “It is really based on honesty.” 

     Students with the app have noticed that some of the higher-ranked students have points from almost every event, including events that occurred at the same time in completely different areas.

     What started as a great idea has turned into a monitoring issue for leadership. There are a number of ways to cheat. People can show up for a short period of time and leave; people can have other people check in for them; and people can just be in the general vicinity and check in even if they aren’t at the game. 

     If people cheat I don’t have as good as a chance to win.” sophomore Kentin Hosley said. “I think that people shouldn’t be able to sign other people on because that’s not fair because they’re not actually going to the event,” As a sophomore Hosley also felt that the app was biased towards juniors and seniors, who can drive and attend away games more easily than underclassmen.

     “I feel annoyed and disgusted [that people are cheating] because the point is to increase people’s participation and spirit around the school,” Abell said. “We’re looking at some ways to stop them from cheating on the tech side.”

     “I cheated at one event and I feel really bad about it, and I am definitely not going to do that again,” leadership member, senior Caleb Wachsmuth said. Wachsmuth has been to many different sporting events and said he saw many people come to an event, get their points, and leave shortly after.

     Wachsmuth isn’t super concerned about people who go to an event for a little while and then head to another one. Because it still means students are going to events as spectators. But, “if it’s a recurring thing people are going to find out,” he said. 

     Are the students’ motivations selfless, supporting their school by attending multiple events in one day, or are their motivation selfish, getting as many points as possible and winning at all costs? This is the question leadership needs to answer.

     “For the people [for whom] we have evidence for cheating, we might take away their points or kick them off the app,” Abell said. 

     Members of leadership have not fully discussed how to deal with those who cheat, but are coming up with a solution. 

     “It’s hard for anything to be completely fair, but I do feel like the app as a whole is fair for those who use it right,” Butera said. “It’s important to remember the points reset each quarter, and even if you don’t win most spirited, [your] points still contribute to your grade’s spirit points.”