Whereabouts of Webb merch puzzles students

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Gabby Diaz (‘23) and Nathan Liu (‘23) sport a Webb hoodie and Webb sweatpants for Webb Wednesday. The two juniors are only a few of the small majority of the student population who participate in Webb Wednesday. Though there has been less participation for Webb Wednesdays this year than others, students have expressed that they would be more than happy to enjoy the perks that come with wearing Webb clothing once the student store opens. “I wasn’t here when the student store was open, but I wish it was [open] because then I’d be able to buy Webb merch,” Stephanie Ma (‘25) said. Photo Credits: Noelani Chock (‘23)

After three months of school, Webb students still have not been able to purchase Webb merchandise, because the student store is nowhere to be seen on campus. There has been no official announcement about when the store will be opening. Both new students who have not had the opportunity to buy Webb merchandise and students who want to get their last fill of Webb sweatpants before graduating are concerned.

“The main reason for [the setback of the spirit store] is because we want to do it right,” said Ken Rosenfeld, Dean of Campus Life. “We could have opened it a while ago, but it would have meant rushing the design process and it would have meant rushing the creation of the online store. Not only do we need to make sure that the designs are something that everybody is going to appreciate, but also the quality and the materials that we are using have to be at a certain standard.”

Students believed that the spirit store would be open by now, but now anticipate it to open after winter break. However, the benefits of prolonging the opening process outweigh the cons of waiting. The newly branded spirit store committee has taken their time to curate pieces because they want to ensure that students will love the new products and that the online store will run smoothly. The impact of COVID-19 on the global supply chain is also an explanation for the setback.

The “student store” will not only be rebranded as the “spirit store,” but it will also go through an entire upgrade for its products and their colors. Webb has decided to incorporate more aspects from the Raymond Alf Museum into the marketing of the school; the museum is such an integral part of the community. Not only does Webb have WSC colors and VWS colors, but it now includes shared school colors: Unbounded blueCalifornia goldand Alf grey.

“[The products are] meant to have a representation of all three of those colors so that way everyone’s able to wear it without it necessarily being designated WSC or VWS,” Mr. Rosenfeld said. “We are trying as best as possible to create a universal line that anyone in any school would be able to use and feel represented.”

Though Webb’s merchandise team has already created these new pieces, students feel that they should be able to participate in the design process. Students would like to bring out their creative sides while contributing to the community. These ideals of creativity and community lie at the heart of Webb’s mission, and it would be a great way for students to feel like they have a voice in decisions that are usually left to faculty.

“I would want to wear [Webb merch] more if it were my work and I would feel proud of myself for being active in the community,” Emily Huang (‘23) said.

The spirit store committee is extremely open to student suggestions and design ideas. They recognize that the spirit store is a place for students to get products that represent them and that they can use to show off their Webb pride.

“What we are hoping to do is that in our second wave and third wave of merchandise that’s where we will open it up a little bit more for students to be able to provide design options,” Mr. Rosenfeld said.

Webb Wednesdays allow students to enjoy the perks of wearing comfortable clothing while showing school spirit. A Webb sweatshirt with sports shorts is a common trend on Wednesdays as well as the infamous Webb sweatpants paired with a hoodie.

“Wearing Webb merch on Wednesdays gives me the excuse to wear sweatpants,” Fran Torres (‘23) said. “I also like my Webb hoodie which I’ve worn since freshman year.”

The committee hopes to open the student store soon after winter break but is hesitant to make any promises. It will be located in a 6-foot by 8-foot pop-up shop in the Hooper Community Center where students will be able to purchase a variety of products like masks, notebooks, hoodies, and sweaters. As students await the return of their beloved Webb merchandise, they can feel reassured that the spirit store committee has their best interests at heart.