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Tech’s School Spirit is on the Rise

@brooklyntechcheer Instagram
Brooklyn Tech Cheer at Homecoming

Brooklyn Tech is not known for Friday Night Lights football games and full bleachers at sports games, as it is not a “sports school” with a legion of energetic fans. Still, it boasts many championship-winning Public School Athletic League (PSAL) teams, and more recently, it has taken several measures to instill a sense of school spirit in its students, even beyond athletics.

Many Tech students are unaware of the numerous events and games that happen weekly, and those who are aware of them are often unwilling or unable to attend. In Tech’s competitive environment, school pride is not a top priority for most students. 

Health Education teacher Mrs. Lori Parizman has advocated for a new school mascot for years. The School Leadership Team (SLT) agreed to move forward with her proposed mascot competition only last year.

Parizman feels that students should take part in building their school community. “I think all the spirit really needs to come from them,” she said. “[Tech] students should want to be here and participate and promote their school.” Parizman feels that the one way to encourage that is by introducing a mascot that is not an engineer. 

“The original Engineer’s mascot was a physical engineer,” she noted. “But there’s no costume for that; no one is running around looking like this,” she said, referring to the original depiction of the Engineer, Brooklyn Tech’s original mascot.

Tech’s original mascot

The mascot competition pitted three student-designed options in a schoolwide vote which came to a close in early April when BT Beaver was announced as the clear winner.

BT Beaver

Parizman’s goal is to eventually have a Tech student dressed in a mascot costume of BT at games and events and use him in logos on new Tech merch.

Parizman pushed for the revival of a new mascot after realizing that Tech’s spirit was low, which she ascribes to the school’s size. “People don’t know what’s going on in the school,” she said. “We get so much information [and Tech’s] just too big.” 

The Cheer Team is another recent arrival at Tech whose goal is to bring spirit to the school community. At the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, three students began their work to revive Tech’s Cheer Team, which had died out during the pandemic. Biological Sciences majors Gabrielle Alcindor (‘24) and Oyinda Olakoiki (‘24), as well as Physics major Sasha Lempert (‘25), hoped to express their school pride to Tech students by joining the Cheer Team upon entering Tech. They had all independently sought after cheer at Tech, only to learn that a team did not exist. 

Olakoiki recounted her disappointment. “Freshman year was mostly online for me, and I was really excited to come to school and join the Cheer Team,” she said. “And then I got here and there [wasn’t a] Cheer Team anymore.”

These three students banded together last summer to bring back the Team and bring them a much-needed break from the rigor of school. “My experience at Tech [has been] very STEM-focused,” said Alicindor. “I feel like being a part of cheer has been very refreshing because it’s been something where I can be creative and collaborative with other people.”

The team cheers at Tech football and basketball games, as well as wrestling matches, working to ignite the team’s players and excite the crowd at each event. According to Lempert, their goal is to bring more students to school events and lift their spirits. 

While the new cheer captains understand that only some students are eager to join the team or start a pep rally, they still encourage students to participate in ways that enrich life at Tech. “If you don’t like your school, you can’t have school spirit,” said Olakoiki. “You just need to find the things you like about [school] and support those things.” 

As the team continues to thrive, recruiting their official spring roster and getting new uniforms, and BT Beaver is starting to make appearances in school communications and signage, both are leading the charge with school pride and the promise that Tech’s spirit is on the rise.

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About the Contributor
Francesca Kamali
Francesca Kamali, Staff Writer
Francesca Kamali (she/her) is a Staff Writer. Francesca is interested in journalism because of how it affects people's views on global issues. She joined The Survey to share these issues with readers at Tech. Francesca reads The New York Times. She likes to read books and play volleyball. One of Francesca Kamali's favorite books is My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante because of its lively setting in 1950s Italy.

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