The best and worst assemblies

     Assemblies. Nothing says, “it’s Thursday” like filing into McCain while Mr. Batcheller holds the doors for everybody while confiscating food and drinks from not-so-sly students. Some people believe assemblies build Westminster’s sense of community, while others think they’re a waste of time. Either way, no one can deny that a hierarchy exists. Not all assemblies are created equal, and I’ve compiled a list assessing which are the best and which are the worst. 

     First up: MAC/WAC. From the suspense of trying to guess who will have a solo, to the classic song choices, the MAC and WAC assembly never fails to please. MAC brings an intriguing stage presence and odd articles of clothing to spice up their usually predictable routines. Will they wear suspenders? I’m not sure, but I do know that I’ll love this rendition of “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” just as much as I have the last three years. WAC, on the other hand, keeps their performances simple and classy. They might not take as many risks as MAC, but they make up for it with their sheer talent and variety in song; WAC rarely performs the same one twice, pleasantly surprising the audience with every song choice.

     Second up: The Talent Show. Not just any talent show, however. The end-of-year talent show with all of the seniors is the superior one. In a talent show, anything goes. Of course, you’ve got the classic singer/songwriters, guitarists, pianists, and the occasional dancer, but the more outlandish performances tend to be the most entertaining. Personally, I’d love to see a yo-yo routine. In the end-of-year show, seniors perform talents that nobody knew they had, giving the talent show an extra shock factor. No matter who’s on stage, one thing’s for sure: the talent show is never boring. 

     Finally, my last favorite assembly: the Christian Emphasis Week assembly. During Christian Emphasis week, we have assemblies every day, but of these assemblies, one always stands out as the best. I like to call this assembly the “A-game assembly.” Sometimes they have a funny speaker or a talented musician, or maybe they serve food afterwards. Christian Emphasis Week organizers put their heart and soul into this assembly; they know what appeals to the masses, and they make it happen. 

     Now, onto my least favorite assemblies… first up: Christian Emphasis Week, filler edition. As mentioned earlier, during Christian Emphasis Week, they have to fill up an entire week’s worth of assemblies. At no fault of their own, the people who organize these assemblies are bound to run out of creative, accomplishable ideas at some point. This leaves us with what I call the “filler assembly.” Maybe a talented speaker was lined up to speak, but cancelled at the last minute, leaving everyone scrambling to find someone to fill the time, or maybe this assembly is vaguely related to the theme for Christian Emphasis Week, but it’s a stretch. This assembly isn’t bad per se. I’ll pay attention to it for sure, but when compared to the rest of the Christian Emphasis Assemblies, this one just feels kind of meh.

     Next up: the Honor Assembly. We file into McCain and settle down. President Evans gets up and tells a strange story that somehow relates to honor in an attempt to spice up the assembly. It leaves everyone confused. The Honor Council stands up and introduces itself. They tell you that cheating, lying, stealing, and plagiarism are bad. They show you statistics about how many types of cases they see each year. That’s not to say their message isn’t important. I, personally, like being able to leave my computer in the library and trust no one will steal it. However, anyone who wants to steal someone’s computer won’t refrain simply because this assembly told them not to. For the people who follow the Honor Code, this information could’ve been sent in an email or presented in homeroom. For those who don’t follow the Honor Code, it’s not like this assembly would’ve stopped them anyways. I like the sentiment, and I like how integral honor is to life at Westminster, but I just don’t think this assembly is particularly useful or entertaining.

     Last: the JanTerm show-and-tell assembly. Why? Just, why? I won’t even try to defend this one. It’s not that JanTerm isn’t amazing—I love JanTerm. However, for the three weeks of school in January, all anyone talks about is what they did in JanTerm. The students who went to Guatemala have already told us about how amazing it was. That person with the super cool internship has already been bragging about it for months. The truth is, the people presenting don’t want to present, and the people listening don’t want to listen. They should turn this assembly into a club period. At the end of the day, most of the assemblies we have keep the audience engaged, or even if people aren’t necessarily engaged, the assembly serves a purpose. Perhaps you disagree with my rankings, or you think I missed one. Maybe you believe that every assembly matters and should be treated equally. Regardless, I think everyone can agree that McCain should be warmer, and Messiah should be shorter.