Confirmed: SLC is a Cult

Sally King, Editorial Director

What originally was a joke is now a full-blown conspiracy theory coming to life. When I joined the Student Leadership Committee (SLC) in my junior year, I thought I was taking the next steps to becoming a well-rounded, insightful and critical thinker, clear communicator, self-motivated, and respectful individual of character in the Pinewood community. Little did I know I was not joining a committee — I was entering a cult.  

My sister, a former SLC President, convinced me to join, citing her own personal “growth” and newfound appreciation for “spirit” as motivators. However, as my time in SLC continued, I slowly discovered what really made her change. 

Initiation starts with small asks, innocent comments, and subtle nudges. Then they want more. The asks get grander and more humiliating: come to school in a full-blown supervillain costume? Trash the pristine school hallways with green and gold strips of paper? Hand out free food with a scary cheery attitude at 7 a.m.? Get your friends and schoolmates to join you in showing “school spirit”? What the heck!?!?! They get more and more absurd and personally degrading, yet we do it. SLC and the other student council members parade into school, decked out in ridiculous getups with plastered smiles and a craving to create peer pressure and gain new disciples.  

“Our goal is simple: we ‘encourage’ our students to fully participate in Pinewood ‘spirit,’” Director of Student Life Kyle Riches said.

Riches, also known as High Priest Riches, orates his teachings of self-motivation and constantly spirited attitudes to all the student council members every Wednesday for 40 minutes. He preaches about creating a feeling of belonging that can be brought on by silly unmatching outfits and participation in rights of passage (including tug-of-war and trivial trivia).

SLC’s most recent scheme was the Lip Sync Battle, where they utilized peer pressure and hip hymns to promote violence. SLC used the blood spilled during the grade-level battles to power their resurrection of the school mascot, Perry the Panther. Now, he roams the hallways and devours any unspirited students.  

“Student spiritual salvation has finally been made a graduation requirement,” SLC Secretary Prisha Mohapatra said. “Praise be! We are not a cult… just a system of beliefs meant to guide us students and make us truly spirited sheep, who scream in our Panther Pit unashamed.” 

But SLC has taken the WISCRs too far. Our students need to be spirited, but SLC’s fanaticism needs to be stopped. If people actually start participating in SLC’s “spirit” activities, the community will be completely converted. But conforming is not the new norm — be “spirited” at your own risk!