MEX spirit in shambles


Seoyoung Jun

Kai Bilal performs during the sophomores’ MEX dance despite struggles with boys building interest and participation. “The initial demo seemed kind of hard,” sophomore Zeerak Yusufi said. “It was fast paced and the [guys] just lost interest. There were no friend groups, either—it was just random people who decided to come to MEX, so there was no hype. We [didn’t] generate enough interest.”

Grace Sharma, Staff Writer

Dress your best. Spirit day. Homecoming askings. Spirit bombs. TJ Olympics. Chess and video game tournaments. Pep rallies. Musical extravaganza (MEX). 

Leading up to the dance, homecoming week is filled with spirit and palpable excitement. Students dress up all week, ask their crushes to the dance, spirit bomb, and compete on which side can chant the loudest. 

However, while the energy of homecoming week is present in all students, there has historically been a lack of boys’ interest in MEX. This year, the junior boys MEX dance was canceled due to little organization and not enough time to sort through complications. 

“There were some issues that were going on and some people didn’t like the song choice,” junior and MEX committee member Garv Jain said. “Practices weren’t being productive and we were running [behind]  schedule, so two weeks before MEX, we realized that all the dances were pretty much down except for guys. There was no way we could teach it in two weeks, so we made the ultimate decision to cut boys MEX.” 

A possible reason for a lack of interest includes gender roles and feeling comfortable doing activities that aren’t normally accepted as a guy. 

“Guys think that dancing is for girls and undermines their masculinity,” Jain said. “Typically a lot of girls carry that momentum and are more interested in class spirit [while] a guy will try to be reserved.” 

Students can also feel judged for putting in energy or effort in a homecoming dance. 

“[Last year] I didn’t really want to do MEX,” sophomore Zeerak Yusufi said. “It seemed kind of lame. Right now I regret that; it seemed like a fun idea.” 

In addition to school spirit, MEX allows for the formation and strengthening of friendships. 

“MEX and class spirit is about unity, and a lot of people go with their friends,” Jain said. “[Get] your friends involved. I always force my friend groups to do MEX. That way they’re not alone, and if they’re struggling, they’re struggling together.”

Both Jain and Yusufi encourage boys to participate in MEX and not feel judged for having spirit. 

“It’s fun. Participate. You’ll make friends and meet people,” Yusfai said. “You can learn some dancing, you can impress people, [and] if there’s someone you want to get to know or date, you can ask them to do the couples dance with you. It’s pretty casual. Anyone can do it.”

Jain emphasizes the uniqueness of Jefferson spirit and being in high school once. 

“This is high school—you’re not going to get this experience again,” Jain said. “TJ is a unique place in that we have such a spirited homecoming. You’re never going to regret that you were never as involved. You’re not going to have these memories to treasure. To anyone guys or girls who are reluctant to do MEX or participate in homecoming: go all out. No one’s judging you.”