College Banners: How Do You Feel About Their Presence?

By Olivia Conte

Typically by this time of year, students passing by the guidance office will notice college banners displayed on the walls. From Cornell to UCLA to The University of Wisconsin, colleges from around the country are represented in the array of pennants.

This year, however, students are yet to see these banners and many are curious as to why. Normally, people would be stopping in front of the guidance window and gazing at the huge arrangement of colleges. But this year is different. However, Stacey Ferrante, the guidance secretary, reassures students that the banners will soon arrive. In past years, she explained, “banners were hung for each and every school to which Byram Hills students were accepted. Instead, this year banners will only be hung for the colleges that the students are actually choosing to attend the following year.” Following this protocol, the banners will soon be featured.   

While the banners are a tradition at Byram, not all students are supportive of their presence. Junior Ally Ross believes, “it’s great to celebrate students’ accomplishments, but it definitely instills competition that is not always positive. Some people use these banners for bragging rights.”

Junior Jake Stern agrees with Ross, adding, “Sometimes, people don’t get into their first or even second choice school, and seeing the banner of the school they didn’t get into—but someone else did—might make them feel bad.”

However, other students still maintain that college banners should continue to be a part of the Byram Hills tradition. Many high school seniors are excited about their entrances to the colleges they applied to and they are ready to see their banner up on the guidance wall. These seniors have worked really hard to get into their school of choice and the banner reinforces that. These students feel that it doesn’t matter what school you are going to because in the end it usually works out and you start to feel school spirit. Supporters feel the banner promotes enthusiasm and encouragement from students and staff.

When the banners appear this month, student reactions will most likely vary initially but as the end of the year approaches, most seniors will share a collective excitement for the year ahead at their chosen college.