What Makes Pelican Day Successful?

Bryan Chung '25 and Katelyn Kim '25, Contributors

Occurring five times a year, Pelican Day is an event designed to encourage student interaction amongst their respective classes through various collaborative activities. Taking a day off regular classes, students and faculty are expected to bond with each other to strengthen the school’s community. However, while the intentions of the day seem beneficial, the event lacked any true alignment with the expectations of students.
On the 27th of September, the freshmen gathered in front of the Scanlan Campus Center to depart on a hike for our Pelican Day. Built on the foundational aspects of interaction, Pelican Days serve to create stronger bonds between students and faculty. Nevertheless, with minimal efforts to incorporate student opinions, hiking wasn’t effective in encouraging students to socialize; we felt as if there could have been alternative activities set up rather than forcing students on a hike.
The assigned groups, based solely on advisors’ decisions, also seemed abortive; not only were we already familiar with our groups, but we would also have plenty of future advisory time to spend together.
“I think it could have been better if we [chose] where we went and if we conducted a majority voting system for the events that went on,” Phoenix Ahipeaud ’25 said.
Yet, in spite of a flawed Pelican Day, strengthening our community undoubtedly enriches student life at Loomis. If student ideas were somehow incorporated in the decision-making process surrounding activities—whether that be in the form of surveys, student council or class officer meetings—the tradition would be far more effective in establishing the student-teacher bonds that it is supposed to emphasize.
Even having randomized groups, as opposed to ones formed through advisory groups, may make the day more worthwhile for students. Most importantly, students have expressed a desire to partake in Pelican Day activities that they themselves find enjoyable.
“I felt like we could have chosen or [conducted] a poll on what to do, instead of being made to go on a hike,” Nagima Williams ’25 said.
One of the better modifications that Loomis made to Pelican Day was moving it from weekends to weekdays.
“Two years ago, we had to cancel special events like Debate tournaments just to attend the event when it could have taken place on weekdays or just not [be held] at all,” Calvin Pan ’23 said.
This shift to weekdays gave students the chance to rewind and relax during their free time. Although we have not personally experienced this schedule first hand, imagining a weekend of frivolous activities does not seem like the ideal way to end our week. With this change in schedule, students can maintain their free time while enjoying Pelican Day as a way to socialize during the school week.
As such, despite Loomis’ forceful approach on Pelican Day, its principle of fostering student-teacher interactions would greatly strengthen the cohesiveness of our campus community. Were Loomis to open-mindedly cater Pelican Day to student feedback, this tradition could truly be a great way to foster new dialogue and friendships.