Decrease of Energy in The Student Section at WWS

photo credit: Daily Herald

photo credit: Daily Herald

Samantha Buol, Staff Writer

If you walked into Glenbard North on February 22nd, 2020, and saw the away teams student section sitting down and not wearing any of their school colors, you wouldn’t recognize that this was Wheaton Warrenville South’s student section. The 3 components to any student section are: cheering, same attire, and inclusive energy. When student sections have all 3 of these devices, they are energetic as a whole.  At times, WWS at home games has shown different combinations of these components, but there’s a decline in all 3 at away games.

The Wheaton Warrenville South  student section is losing its energy. 

A lack of attendance at WWS basketball games is causing the student section to lose its volume and liveliness. It’s simple math when there are less people, it’s hard to be louder. 48.4%  of students at Wheaton Warrenville South have noticed a decline in energy. The students who are noticing this decline are the ones participating in the student section, and they aren’t making this observation just off of what they see, but what they feel too. Students can feel the energy lessen and can feel the loss of activeness the student section brings in. Knowing that less students are attending events is alarming Crimson Education states,  because “students who are involved in their school have more social opportunities”, if the less students attend events, the less social they will be. And if the students are still being social then they are most likely spending time with the same people they normally do, which can hinder social awareness and their ability to branch out.


Because there is a lack of inclusivity, there’s decreased participation due to discomfort, causing there to be less energy. When WWS students were surveyed 9.7% of students don’t feel included and that small percent could be the loudest kids. In any school, they want everyone to feel included because if people don’t feel included, it could be resulting from social issues or bullying which the school needs to be aware of. That 9.7% doesn’t feel included and they are feeling excluded from a big crowd that brings their school together 1-2 times a week for an hour. That one hour for those students is crucial because it could be a big deal to them. Psychologist Jean Twenge says that in her recent studies about social behaviors in students, she has noticed that “social exclusion caused a substantial reduction in prosocial behavior.” Because students aren’t feeling included, they are less likely to socialize which is hurting their social life and growth. When that 9.7% is getting excluded they lose their “effect of participation” and start to care less about the activity they are participating, which is cheering in the student section. Those 9.7% did not specify why they didn’t feel included but it could be due to the segregated student section.


The WWS student section, like most, is segregated by grade which makes it difficult for everyone to have energy as a whole. When students are standing with the kids in their grade they might feel more comfortable, but they don’t have that person to look up to that’s older with more experience, not counting the senior class. By having a mentor or someone older to watch, younger students can have an idea of how to appropriately act and adjust to their settings.  32.3% of WWS students believe the student section would have more energy if it wasn’t separated by grade. Most of that percentage was underclassmen, the students who are in the back, not the front. The upperclassmen have their back to the students because they are watching the game and having fun, which is a valid reason to not be paying attention to the inclusiveness. Although, freshman Bear Buol has expressed much frustration in being seperated by grade. He stressed that because he’s a “freshman [he] feels like [he]can’t get the full experience of the student section because freshman have to be in the back. Since [they] aren’t all together it makes [him] not want to cheer because [he’s] mad and being pushed out.” Knowing that students aren’t feeling included because of what grade they are in is sad. Underclassmen should feel and be allowed to move to any area they want, to have a good time, and to not be taunted about it due to social customs. Being segregated by grade in the student section puts walls up between the grades and doesn’t make the school feel like a whole.

Because the WWS student section has been losing energy, there needs to be a change.  The student section leaders can set reminders to make sure they alert the student population about updates. They can also ask around about what themes students would rather wear. Another solution could be to abolish the unsaid “rule” of being separated by grade, so everyone can cheer together. Speaking from the student section, 48.7% of students said they believe having better chants would make the student section better. Chants can not only help the students be more involved and inclusive, but it can also help sports teams perform better. According to Hilary Macgregor from the LA Times, “crowds can improve performance in sports that involve strength, endurance or teams. They also can prove beneficial in events that go on long enough for an athlete to get really tired. This effect on athletes has been dubbed “social facilitation,” by sports psychologists.¨ If the WWS students were to change some chants, be more inclusive, and have more themes, the student section and most importantly the success of the teams would improve.