Popular Pace Tradition Comes to an End

Current seniors get ready to get some shut-eye in the Inman Center on the last night of Spirit Week 2019. Photo: Charlie Hirsch

One of Pace’s most treasured traditions will come to an end beginning January 2020: seniors can no longer sleep at Pace during Spirit Week for liability issues. Every year, seniors look forward to the night before the Spirit Week skits because they get to spend the entire night at Pace while decorating the campus with their theme. However, after recent information emerged after the last Spirit Week sleepover, this tradition has been terminated.

Pace Academy Head of School Fred Assaf has issued a public statement to all students and faculty: “We will no longer allow seniors to stay overnight at Pace during Spirit Week due to liability issues. The last time we allowed this, students were horsing around and one student, who shall not be named, broke a light in the Inman Center. The light dropped onto another student and resulted in a serious injury. We can’t take such chances, especially because Pace is not responsible for students ‘sleep schedule.’ We love all the students but I believe that students must return home to their respective abodes that night.”

Although it seems like Spirit Week is ruined for every senior class to come, Assaf assured the community that they would come to a compromise. “Students can remain and have all their fun decorating until 11:30 p.m.,” said Mr. Assaf. “At 11:30, students must depart Pace and go back to their houses. I think this is the most safe outcome. Not to mention, students will no longer be up the whole night and then sleep in every class the next day. Academics come first.” 

The students had mixed reactions about the new decision. “This is totally unfair,” said junior Blaise Reyes. “I was looking forward to spending the whole night there because it just seems so fun with music blasting and hanging out with my friends. It’s like a highlight of senior year. Ugh.” Others, however, didn’t see this rule as that significant. “I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” said junior Rachel Wray. “It’s just one night, and we can still hang out late. I don’t mind, people are just overreacting.” 

Faculty members also had words to say about the decision, especially history department chair Tim Hornor. “I have done this for so many years and rarely do we have such an intense injury,” he said. “I enjoy the tradition; it really brings the seniors together, so this will be quite the change when that day comes.”

Junior dean Grady Stevens was relieved that Mr. Assaf held his ground and initiated the rule. “Thank god! I have a strict 7:30 bedtime, and now they wanted me to spend the entire night with my students? No thank you,” said Stevens.

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