Every morning, an obnoxious bell chimes in the speakers of my first period classroom, followed by an equally obnoxious sound that I cannot simply make out. The voices coming out of the speakers express a sense of urgency, but for those who are moderately alert, and especially for those who are feeling drowsy in the early morning, the PA announcements are a mere blur in the everyday lives of SIS students.
There are three key reasons as to why the deliveries of PA announcements are so inefficient: the voice of the speaker is hard to hear, the audio is frequently muffled, and the highlight of these announcements—the roars—express no sense of school spirit.
Regarding the issue of the disappearing voices, it is an innate characteristic of human nature that some are shyer than others. Yes, we take communications courses, but their impact differs from student to student. I have little trouble speaking in front of a class of 20 other students, but when it comes to delivering the PA announcement, it is an incomparably heavier burden to deliver critical information to a crowd of around 400 students and teachers. A script is hardly of any use when the thought of having to “present” in front of the entire high school is in the back of your mind.
Regardless of whether a student is loud or silent, there is also the issue of the PA system itself, where voices sound muffled or overly screechy. For first-time users of the PA system, it may be hard to approximate the adequate distance between one’s mouth and the microphone. However, students often feel a tinge of annoyance when they strain their ears in vain in an effort to make out the inaudible, muffled sounds. Thus, it leads to a rampant cycle of students ignoring morning announcements.
On another note, the “ROARS,” which have ironically become the most significant aspect of an SIS PA announcement, are also often neglected. Perhaps, it is merely a communication error, a forgotten step in the process of a frantic announcement reading. Or perhaps, it directly reflects our lack of school spirit, how we cannot even afford to waste a tremble of our voices to shout a ‘roar.’
The information blasted on the PA system is indeed important and in order to emphasize the significance of the ideas delivered, there must be an alternative solution, whether that be changing the system into a pre-recorded speech, or replacing the microphone itself. Nonetheless, there is nothing or no one clearly at fault. Students come with the purpose of delivering important information to the student body, but sometimes fail to do so for reasons that are beyond their own control.