By Ferenc Somogyi ’21
Our school is different. It’s unique. Some might even call it old-fashioned. And the truth is, they’re right. Saint Ignatius has traditions that can’t be found anywhere else in American high schools. One of the most famous –- or infamous, depending on your perspective –- is Senior Smoke Day.
Senior Smoke Day is almost like a myth on campus. No freshman actually thinks it exists until they see it with their own eyes. And kids from other schools, hearing about it, think Ignatius students are nothing short of crazy for keeping this tradition.
The day has always been controversial. Today, the ramifications of smoking are clear – and this causes many to hesitate even at the idea of having one cigar on one day with teachers and friends at school. But more than the smoking, the day is about camaraderie. It’s been one of the last opportunities for seniors to bond before graduation. Teachers get to take pictures with and witness the last laughs of students they’ve seen grow over four years. Senior Smoke Day is special and different, just like our school.
Whether one personally agrees with it or not, its loss will leave a gap of tradition that must be filled. Ohio state law on tobacco has made Senior Smoke Day obsolete. Mr. Martin, the Assistant Principal for Student Life, emphasizes that the school administration was adhering to state rules to prevent students from legal problems when Senior Smoke Day was annulled. Furthermore, the school administration fully supports the senior class in finding a way to fill the gap the loss of this tradition leaves.
Senior class president Will Sullivan and the rest of the senior class, along with senior class moderators Dr. Fior and Mr. Betz, have been brainstorming new tradition ideas since they found out about the cancellation of Senior Smoke Day. Mr. Martin explains that the school administration is open to helping seniors create their new event.
It’s up to the students to create a lasting new custom that will foster the same end-of-highschool camaraderie as Senior Smoke Day. And though Senior Smoke Day was old-fashioned and unique, something just as significant as it can surely be established.
It’s not very often that students have the chance presented to them to change the traditions of their high school for generations to come. Now is the chance for Saint Ignatius seniors to shine as they truly lead the school in finding a new custom to last for ages to come.