Traditions include students

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief


Living in a college town, the word’s meaning can be twisted. Most people see initiation as a set of difficult or embarrassing tasks to do in order to gain membership. However, this is not always the case.

At Manhattan High, National Honor Society holds an induction ceremony that involves no difficult or embarrassing tasks.

“Every person who got into the club is initiated at the ceremony,” senior NHS president Ella Bahr said.  
“That’s also when the officers are initiated. I feel like it’s more for the officers probably, like that’s the main part of the ceremony, it takes up most of the time.”

A major part of NHS’ induction is the lighting of the candles.

“The previous year’s officers have the candle,” Bahr said, “and then they light the candle the next year’s officers, and it’s supposed to signify that they are passing their knowledge and their position onto the next year.”

Unlike NHS, SubDeb’s initiation does involve embarrassing tasks. SubDeb, short for Suburban Debutante, is not technically affiliated with Manhattan High, but many associate the two. To become part of the SubDeb planning committee, girls must go through an interesting morning.

“We just get the girls in the morning,” senior SubDeb co-president Emily Armbrust said, “and we talk to their parents obviously, who let us in. [We] pick them up in the morning, and we just take them around Manhattan. This year, we didn’t really do much, we just did fun stuff for the girls. We like sang Disney songs and did rap battles, and then after that we took them to Varsity Donuts for breakfast, and then we came [to the high school].”

Though they still do hazing-like activities, the SubDeb committee has toned it down recently.

“In previous years,” Armbrust said, “there have been like costumes and a lot more of the hazing form of it, which we’ve really tried to stay away from now because obviously, the club has a negative connotation. We wake up later, so the girls don’t have to get up as early, and less food and less everything.”

The committee is making an active attempt to keep the initiation process safe and fun.

“I think we’ve really come together this year and discussed like the issues of the past that need to be stopped,” Armbrust said. “We meet with [principal Greg] Hoyt, the presidents do every year, and so we tell him everything we do, so he does know what’s going on. I think that if the girls next year and the years coming keep making SubDeb a better place and a better opportunity for girls, then it will keep going just fine.”

Even though a small majority of the clubs have initiation events, there is a club for everyone.

“The bottom line is we have over 124 different opportunities for students to get involved in some facet or aspect of the school,” Hoyt said, “so if there’s not something here for any student, I would make the argument that I don’t think the student’s looking hard enough.”