Red Ribbon Week spurs door decorating contest

This year's annual door decorating contest receives more involvement than past years


By Madison Ferguson

To help art teacher Jodi Ellis, senior Dan Thomas and sophomore James Tharp cut out monsters to decorate Ellis's door during red ribbon week on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Alison Booth, JagWire editor-in-chief

Twenty-six seminars are participating in this year’s door decorating contest for Red Ribbon Week, three times more than last year.

The Red Ribbon Campaign began in 1985 after a Drug Enforcement Administration agent was killed by drug traffickers in Mexico City. The purpose of Red Ribbon Week is to promote a drug-free country in which communities “take a visible stand against drugs,” according to the National Red Ribbon Campaign.

JagPRIDE sponsor Debbie Gudenkauf said the door decorating contest provides student exposure to the problem of drug abuse.

“[Door decorating] is something students can get involved in and have fun doing,” Gudenkauf said. “Students are exposed to [the posters] because they pass through doors multiple times a day.”

Doors will be judged by their visual impact, craftsmanship and originality by jagPRIDE members and the winning seminar will receive a cookie cake as a reward. A winner will be announced on Monday, Nov. 2.

Freshman Elizabeth Joseph, who decorated gifted services facilitator Carmen Shelly’s door, feels that putting the posters on doors will make more students susceptible to the messages the posters promote.

“The door is the most visual part that you can share with other people and that’s how you’re showing the rest of the school the message you want to send,” Joseph said.

Some students appreciate the creative aspect the contest provides. Junior Claire Anderson is decorating art teacher Jodi Ellis’ door, and said her seminar is incorporating Halloween into their poster.

“We’re trying to send the message to have fun at Halloween but also practice safe morals,” Anderson said.

Senior Shelby Badger is decorating art teacher Erica Crist’s door and said her seminar had a similar idea.

“We’re trying to go with a Halloween theme, but also [incorporate] the fact that by getting yourself stuck in drugs, [consequences] can be fatal,” Badger said.

Other students, including sophomore Durga Jambunathan, who decorated communication arts teacher Anna Nelson’s door, enjoy the opportunity to bond with their seminar class.

“It’s a nice way to bring your seminar class together and to promote a good cause,” Jambunathan said.

Most importantly, the contest is aimed to endorse the schedule of a healthy lifestyle among teens, according to Gudenkauf. Badger said the message of the doors should have an impact on students.

“I like that we get to be creative with [decorating]” Badger said. “I think it’s important that we make sure we set aside some time to say that it’s important to make good decisions now so that you can be on the right path later in your life.”

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