Class of 2019: Doing Alright

Finding the story behind the slogan

Carter Puckett

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Annually, the rise of  a new senior slogan takes its shape to define the academic year for students to come. The “alr19ht” slogan of the class of 2019, however, may just be the most controversial yet. With such few words, the slogan already makes a statement.

The senior class stands together with their senior mantra but the rest of the school still has some concerns. As per tradition, seniors created t-shirts to represent their slogan, complete with their phrase “alr19ht” and the “ok” symbol. One concern is that “Alr19ht” mimics the phrase “alt-right” noting the “ok” symbol on the front of the shirts that has been the focus of many political discussions recently. Originating back in 2015, the “ok” gesture has been used to denote support of radical political groups in favor of white power, with the three fingers including the middle, ring, and pinky finger representing the “W” of white and the thumb, index, and middle finger representing the “P” of power.

Hannah Filby ’19 clarifies this inspiration behind the powerful slogan saying, “not only is ‘alr19ht’ an homage to Matthew McConaughey, it’s truly about our grade accepting their shortcomings and coming to terms with failure in a healthy way. People shouldn’t have to feel the need to be better than everyone else. In the past, that’s been ingrained in people’s minds and we’re looking to change that.” It’s clear that the senior class has a new motto for this year: They just want to be as light hearted as possible.

Despite the controversy of alr19ht, the class of 2019 seems to be in agreement. Addison Anderson ’19 comments, “I think that ‘alr19ht’ represents us quite well.”  Seniors believe the lightheartedness and overall loosely formated motto is what the class of 2019 is all about. Robbie Grace ’19 says, “I voted for [‘alr19ht’] because we are an average group of people in a good way.” At first glance, the idea of being average at such a competitive academic institution may not seem to fit, but upon closer inspection, it’s exactly what keeps such an ambitious community grounded. The innovative class of 2019 is pushing the community to embrace being decently well rounded as opposed to being amazingly specialized and striving for good instead of perfection. In this year’s emergence of the senior slogan, it challenges the acceptance of the status quo and encourages a new way of thinking: it’s ok to be alright.