Cults or just cool people?


Senior Erica Clear (middle) stands with two of her friends in the Battlefield High School Marching Band.

Alex Young, Author

High school is different for everybody. Although most students walk through the same doors, rides the same buses, and eat in the same cafeterias, the experience of grades nine through twelve is never the same for any student. Just as those four years are different for everyone, so are students’ views of them. What high school ‘is’ will always be debated on; Is it what people make of it? Is it what people are involved in? Is it who people socialize with? These are all very fair questions that should be asked when trying to answer the question of what high school is all about. With that being said, high school is undoubtedly a combination of all three of those things and more.

To put it in more simpler terms, one thing Battlefield High School is great at is having successful groups of students. That happens by students making the most of their time, getting involved, and meeting new people. When all that happens, tight bonds are formed between students, which is why Battlefield is so successful in their club and athletic fields. Unfortunately when people start to socialize together and do the same things, the “cult” stereotype always seems to float around. But are the groups at Battlefield actually cults? Or are they just really cool people?

At Battlefield, the “cult” term has floated around to almost every sport or club at the school. This is primarily a result of students seeing other groups of students all socialize together, enjoy the same things, or act the same way. According to, a cult is a “group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange,” so it is not surprising that Battlefield students tend to mix up and associate this term with athletes or clubbers who all practice or live the same way.

It’s safe to say that Key Club, one of Battlefield’s most successful clubs, has been called a cult before. Key Club focuses on service, giving back to the community, and having fun while doing it. “There is so much diversity in Key Club with such a wide variety of interests,” says junior Pam Barrett. “When we come together for one common interest, it’s crazy to see how well we all connect.” Because Key Club spends a lot of time together promoting helping the community, sometimes students have stereotyped them as all having the same personality, which Barrett knows is certainly not the case. “Key Club focuses on kindness, acceptance, and service! People that think of it as a ‘cult’ probably just don’t know much about our organization.” Barrett is headed into her third year as a member of Key Club.

Junior Madison Chisholm added to Barrett’s comments when she said “Key Club is a fun way to make new friends and do something you love. Key Clubbers see the drive that other members have towards helping others and it motivates them in return to have that same drive.” Chisholm continues by saying “Key Club members make time to make other people’s days brighter… and because of that, I don’t see it as a cult.” Chisholm has been working on summer service projects throughout her summer.

Another Battlefield program that got hit with the common cult stereotype was SALC. Established at the start of last school year, the Student Activities Leadership Course was very successful in their first year. From coordinating the school’s first-ever Mini-Thon event, to implementing Compliment Grams, to even helping repaint the inside of the school over the summer, SALC has been working very hard in attempt to “change the culture of Battlefield High School to make it more positive,” as many of their students say. “SALC is a great class that we’ve hoped has done a lot for the school,” says senior James Doppee. What started as a playful tweet towards SALC turned into something they found as pretty comical. “At first the cult joke bothered us when we saw it, but then it became something we embraced,” says Doppee. In class, students continue to playfully jab at each other when it comes to the cult joke.

SALC takes pride in their classroom discussions, where they tend to sit in a circle and talk about ways to help their community. “The circle we sit in and the chants we have… definitely not a cult at all,” jokes senior Kailie Scott. Throughout the summer, students from the program continued to hang out together outside of Battlefield. “We had bonfires and things like that,” says Scott. As SALC gets ready to start their second year at Battlefield, it will be interesting to see what they accomplish in the near future.

As stated earlier, the cult stereotype has always made its way through Battlefield. Claire Graser, a senior on the Cross Country team says “People may think XC (cross country) is a cult because of some wild things that have been rumored to happen at team parties or practices, but in reality it’s really just because we share experiences together and have jokes that only team members would understand.” One example of Graser’s comments was when the Cross Country team did a sock exchange. “I better get some good ones this year,” finishes Graser.

Junior Julia Mitchell added to her teammate’s statements when she said “We do a lot of things outside of running, such as ice skating or going out to iHop together. People may see us as a cult because we’re a small group of runners that enjoy running crazy long distances, but it’s a great way to meet some of your best friends.” Mitchell and Graser have both been training over the summer for the beginning of the team’s fall season.

The best darn band in the land? Definitely not a cult. “The band spends a large quantity of time together,” says junior Colleen Daghita. “In band we have bonding activities outside of practice to better get to know each other. Some may consider us a cult because of the excessive time we spend together, but we all share a passion for music. The band doesn’t really get affected by the cult jokes, and one thing I have really enjoyed throughout my time in band is all the friendships. Participating in band has made me an individual that is gregarious, willing to make friends, and hardworking.” Daghita’s love for marching band is something that she’s always enjoyed.

The band spends 3 months together practicing, bonding, and preparing to compete, so it is no wonder that they are so close. “I’d say band students embrace it!” says senior Erica Clear. “It gets hard sometimes, especially since we have people from ages twelve to eighteen, as well as people who have been marching for many years or not at all. We’re only as strong as our weakest member though, so we constantly build each other up and work together! Band has filled my high school career with laughter, success, and great memories.” Just as the student body will be interested in Key Club, SALC, and Cross Country’s upcoming year, all eyes will be on the Marching Bobcats.

In conclusion, Battlefield does not seem to have any cults… just really cool groups of people. To get involved in one of these groups, people really just have to take that first step and be open to trying something new. For all they know, it could be one of the best decisions of their lives.