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The Current

‘Bruin Blasts’ return to mixed feelings

Seniors Zoey Moody and Brendon Le along with Sophomore Ana Hamilton represent leadership on the daily Bruin Blasts. Photo by Maddie Meilinger

Good morning Bruins! Morning announcements have returned to Bear River and students have mixed opinions.

In response to concerns by parents and students that school information was not being effectively communicated, Leadership students recently reinstated the practice of reading upcoming events over the loudspeaker during the first five minutes of first period. According to Leadership Teacher Matt MacDonald, this was a practice Leadership students oversaw years ago but suspended when there was a daily video bulletin organized by English Teacher Sherlyn Reafsynder. 

Junior Mackenzie Trinidad-Dowdy was strongly opposed to the return of “Bruin Blasts.”

“I believe they are a waste of time,” she said. “Most of the time you can’t hear. The speakers don’t work that well.”

Sophomore Maxwel Nicholson had a contrast of opinions, saying that the Bruin Blasts were helpful and informative.

“I like them,” he said. “They help fill me in. I get to know more about events going on. … Before they started, I barely knew what was going on.”

Mr. MacDonald agreed with Nicholson, saying he has heard lots of positive reactions.

“We’ve definitely received a lot of good feedback about it,” he said. “I think it’s been pretty good so far. They’re short enough that it’s like ‘Hey, this is the big stuff going on.’ There’s been a lot of confusion about things as far as like AP sign ups and scholarship deadlines and events that are going on in school, so we really wanted students to be able to at least hear it in a set time every day.” 

Mr. MacDonald said that the main reasoning on the time of day of the announcements was the extra minute built into first period.

“The way that our schedule is set up, first period is longer by one minute for the purpose of having announcements,” he said. “If you look at our bell schedule, the first period of every day is always one minute longer. We did that a long time ago so that we had that built in time to say announcements over the PA. That’s kind of why we felt like the morning just causes the least amount of disruption, but it also lets people know important things for that day.”

Nicholson approved of the Bruin Blasts being in first period, saying they gave him time to arrange things.

“It’s nice to start the day with something so you can start plans,” he said.

With opinions mixed on Bruin Blasts, one may ask why did Leadership start them? They have Instagram and Snapchat and other social media apps to help spread the word about events. Mr. MacDonald explained the decision.

“When I was in high school, for instance, the Leadership class did those daily announcements,” he said. “I remember doing that a couple times myself. … We had a video class with Mrs. Reafsnyder where they did the bulletin every day so Leadership stopped doing [Bruin Blasts], we had a video bulletin every day. So every morning we’d sit and watch the video. … We changed the classes around. A lot of things changed so we went away from that. But, we just felt like there was a need where students just wanted to hear exactly what’s going on from somebody.”

Mr. MacDonald said the Leadership class also uses social media to alert students to events.

“One of the things we always try to do is just add ways to let our kids know what’s going on and, you know, we do Instagram, we do Facebook, we got Snapchat, we got our Twitter, we got the whiteboards, we make signs,” he said. “But, we still got to be better and so I feel like, now, there’s really no excuse to not know what’s going on because we have the social media and we also have signs and we also say it every day. We just feel like if we can improve our communication, we’re all for that.”

Asked if he thought people were unhappy with Leadership, Senior Brekyn Vasquez, who participates in the class, said that any negative feelings weren’t Leadership’s fault.

“Some people [are mad],” he said. “But at the end of the day it’s not really our fault. We try to make the school have spirit, but it’s all up to the kids trying to go to all the events and do stuff. We try our best.”

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‘Bruin Blasts’ return to mixed feelings