The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

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HSMSE Merch: Flop or Not

School merchandise is such an important part of any school community, so why don’t we see many students sporting HSMSE merch?
Original+Art+by+Joven+Wu
Original Art by Joven Wu

If you go to any high school in New York City or around the country, you can almost always see students wearing their school’s merch. For some reason, I feel like I almost never see students wearing their school merch at HSMSE. Why is this? Do students not like the clothing? Is it not accessible to them? For this issue of The Echo, I wanted to dive into everything HSMSE merch. 

HSMSE Pull-over hoodie available online

According to a survey conducted by The Echo, 62.9% of students interviewed at HSMSE don’t even know where to buy merchandise. Felix E., an HSMSE sophomore

says, “My mom told me she wanted to buy a hoodie but when I tried to find the merch store online, it said the merch wouldn’t come for 3 months.” So why is it difficult to buy, let alone find, school merch, and how

In an interview with Lisa Yee, co-president of the PTA, and Lee Uehara, a parent volunteer, the Echo gained valuable information regarding the operation of the school merch store. The store uses a cost-effective pre-ordering method, featuring two drops annually. “Twice a year, folks will be able to purchase merchandise: early fall, and early spring,” Ms. Uehara explained when detailing the pre-ordering system. Despite year-long access to merchandise options in the “spirit wear” section of the HSMSE website, “The online store… will not be available for shopping until the shopping windows have opened,” Ms. Uehara explained.

 

Now that you know where and when to buy school merchandise, the Echo wanted to find out how people feel about its design. In a survey of HSMSE students, when shown MSE merch and asked if they were interested in purchasing it, only 35% of students expressed interest. “I would have bought HSMSE merch but the designs are a bit basic and generic for me,” said HSMSE freshman Max D. When given these critiques, we at The Echo asked Joven Wu, one of our talented artists, to conceptualize more captivating designs. When we showed Joven’s new design for the school merch, 61% of the same interviewees expressed interest in purchasing Joven’s merch and other items like it. “I really like the idea of school merch for MSE students by MSE students,” said Joel G., a junior.

 

Original Art by Joven Wu

The current lack of interest in school merchandise is not a representation of HSMSE school spirit, but rather an issue of accessibility and design. The fact that 63% of the student body doesn’t know where to find school merch and only 35% of students would purchase it highlights the need to revolutionize the school merchandise’s design and accessibility.

 

A collaborative effort between students, the PTA, and talented artists within our community might be the best approach. By opening merchandise design up to student suggestions, we can create a design that students are proud to wear. Let’s harness the creativity within our student body, work with the PTA to streamline the purchasing process, and change our school merch for the better. This will not only enhance school spirit but foster a collective identity among HSMSE students. 

 

A statement by the PTA confirms the beginning of student-PTA collaboration: “We’ve already reached out to the school’s administration about having students help with the swag store and distribution of items.” MSE students are lucky to have a PTA that really invests in our school community and PTA involvement in the school store has already brought some great changes. If you  are a student who would like to participate in helping to improve our school merch, please contact the PTA at [email protected].

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