West High’s new banners brighten campus and promote the Warrior Way (Art/Photo by Samantha Takeda)
West High’s new banners brighten campus and promote the Warrior Way

Art/Photo by Samantha Takeda

New Year, New West

February 23, 2023

   During the 2022-2023 school year, West High has launched a campaign to advertise their brand new logo. West has also been experiencing a spike in school spirit from students and staff. Is this spike related to the rebrand? Was the initiative a good decision? 

In 2020, West received backlash from students who claimed the West mascot, and accompanying Native American imagery, was racist and an appropriation of Indigenous culture. The anger moved West to change the logo and style of the school to something more inclusive and positive. West’s principal, Mrs. Murata, felt that the school “didn’t need to be represented by any particular person or mascot.” Instead, the school created a logo that embodied West’s new mission: to represent every student’s character, resilience, and creativity. The logo is now the letter “W” with three columns. Each column represents one characteristic of a Warrior.

   Even though the logo was a big change for the school, there was still more to be done. Murata thought that “when you looked around campus you couldn’t actually tell what school you were at.”Inspired by college campuses, banners were put up around the school that embraced the rebranding. Recently, West has also repainted their mural above the football field, removing the Native American ties to better represent the school’s new theme.

   Mrs. Murata believes that the new logo has increased school spirit around the campus. She asked many students at West to tell her what they thought of the rebrand, to which she was met with very positive comments. “I do feel from the interactions I have had with students, that the change was very positive.” Murata is excited to see West’s new brand become more widespread in the campus. She hopes that students will be able to “take pride in the school they attend” and realize that the push of the new logo represents the act of working together and “empowering students to become Warriors.” 

   For many, Murata’s strategy was very successful. Micah Taw (11), the Junior Class President and ASB Advisor, believes that the change enhances the logo and gives it a modern look. The simplicity of West’s logo has given the Associated Student Body (ASB) the potential “to express creativity with new banners and various art visuals,” which he believes will enhance school spirit.

   Students aren’t the only Warriors that endorse the new change. English teacher Mrs. Altenberg thinks that the rebrand  “elevates our campus and makes it more collegiate.” She believes that the change was necessary, as schools “cannot have a mascot that represents a race of people.” In regards to school spirit, Altenberg noticed that school spirit has been higher than ever. “You can see this in the student sections during football games and the incredible increase of students attending school dances.” The “Warrzone” was a new addition to West’s infamous football games:  a place where students can gather and cheer on their school. Altenberg gives credit to the new additions to the campus for the rise in spirit and excitement. She encourages students to appreciate West’s progress towards making a more suitable environment for everyone. She asks that students appreciate West, as high schools are “what movies are made of.” 

   The purpose of West’s rebrand was to create an atmosphere where all students can be comfortable and proud.

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