How does EA day affect student academics?

Fifth Formers celebrating during last year’s spirit week – Communications

“At Haverford, we’re gentlemen, athletes, and scholars,” Sixth Form Student Body President Asa Winikur said. 

Everyone knows that EA Day is one of the most anticipated days of the school year. 

The rivalry between Haverford and the Episcopal Academy has been a historic one, dating back to 1889, when they played their first football game. The historic sweater marking Haverford’s and Episcopal’s wins in the series dates back to 1980. Each and every EA Day goes down in the history books, as two superb schools clash to see who will come out victorious. 

But how does EA Day affect academics at Haverford? Does EA Day affect academics by giving students a refreshing break in a packed school year, or could it just make students unprepared for their work? 

Winikur can personally attest to how EA Day affected him in academics.

“It’s definitely hard to focus at times but [EA Day] makes the hard work worth it. Mr. Stambaugh assigned us a quiz during the week, but he gave us a [satiric] speech about how EA wouldn’t be grinding Hamlet during EA Week,” Winikur said. “I’ve never been more fired up to read some Hamlet in my life. We try to be academic weapons at Haverford, and doing my Hamlet quiz isn’t gonna stop EA Day from happening, so why not try and get a good grade on it?”

Fifth Former Mason Wiegand agreed.

“I actually think [EA Day] might help a little bit because it takes away classes, and teachers understand students aren’t going to be focusing on that,” Wiegand said. “I would say it alleviates some time.”

Head of School Mr. Tyler Casertano thinks EA Day helps unify the community. 

“[EA Day] helps remind us of what’s most important here at Haverford.”

Mr. Tyler Casertano

“I love it. I think it’s a tradition that accomplishes what traditions are supposed to accomplish. They build community and culture,” Mr. Casertano said. “They bring people together not just within the community, but outside the community. It’s a rallying point that unites us around a common cause and helps remind us of what’s most important here at Haverford, which is the relationships we have with each other and how we use those relationships to help us become our best selves.”

Winikur reflected on how his academic performance was affected by EA Day last year. 

“I don’t think anything too significant happened, so I would say the effect was minimal. I mean the last class on Thursday is tough, but once again at Haverford, we’re gentlemen, athletes, and scholars,” Winikur said. “If you can’t handle it all, there’s this school in Newtown Square that wears blue and white that might be a good fit.” 

Wiegand had similar experiences.

“I don’t think it changed that much from what I remember, just because the school does give you opportunities to get homework done,” Wiegand said. 

Wiegand places the responsibility of lower grades on students. 

“It’s really just up to you. As someone who is definitely invested in EA Day, I just want to just focus on that and the days around it,” Wiegand said. “At the end of the day, there is plenty of time to get stuff done. It shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you just prioritize school.”

However, EA Day isn’t all about the competition out of school. There’s also a change inside Haverford. 

“There’s no doubt that there is a loss in energy,” Winikur said. “But now as seniors, it’s our job to bring the juice so the vibes don’t go too low.”

Wiegand feels that EA Day is actually a much-needed energy boost during this point of the school year.

“I think actually there might be a gain in energy, because, for me, it’s about this time of the school year when you get bored again,” Wiegand said. “Getting into EA Day there’s a little bit of a slump, at least for me, and then coming out of EA Day you’re kind of re-energized. I had this little break and now we can get back into doing school work, kind of back into the swing of things.”

Mr. Casertano echoed a similar sentiment.

“[Spirit week] provides an important infusion of energy and excitement and community at a time where students are dragging a little bit at school,” Mr. Casertano said. “The entire week is kind of like a shot in the arm for the community in a positive way.”

EA Day also challenges students to flip between the hype of sports and their academic workload.

“[EA Day isn’t a break] any more than any other Saturday is,” Winikur said. “The great ones are able to dial back in quickly. It’s a good moment to see who’s got that dog in them.”