Underground in top four Illinois student sections

IMG_5638 (1)By Diane Leane
Executive In-Depth Editor
Senior Kyle Beyak aspired to be an Underground leader since The U was created. Beyak consistently went to Prospect games before high school, and at the games he saw his older brother and friends become the first students to lead The Underground.
“I looked up to my brother and my brother’s friends, and so I always wanted to do that with my friends when I was older,” Beyak said.
Since then, Beyak has devoted himself to leading and improving The Underground. Through Beyak, other Underground leaders and teachers working together this past year, The Underground was ranked one of the top four student sections in the state by IHSA.
Beyak believes The Underground’s success was due to the many efforts the leaders and teachers made to include the entire student body. According to Beyak, some faculty members who were crucial to The Underground’s success were social studies teacher Frank Mirandola, psych teacher Daria Schaffeld, math teacher Michael Riedy, associate principal Scott McDermott and principal Michelle Dowling.
“[The faculty] really respect our ideas and allow us to venture out and try new things,” Beyak said. “That’s really I think what we needed … to get the okay for everything and they were just really accepting.”
The Underground had to combat preconceived notions that only some groups of students were welcome at games and other activities.
“[The Underground] differentiates [itself] with the character of [itself],” Beyak said. “[The Underground leaders] don’t think we’re better than anyone else and let everyone know if [they] are a freshman, [they] are still important to The U.”
Beyak’s favorite Underground moments from this year are the blue powder at the Homecoming game and the false alarm during the ice bucket challenge causing people to throw water early. Both of these events were two of many events The Underground planned to help include the entire student body.
The next event The U has scheduled is the Turnabout dance. Beyak hopes the Grease theme will help motivate many students to go.
Overall, Beyak and all of the other U leaders are excited about The Underground’s top four placement, and Beyak hopes next year’s U leaders will continue planning events like the ones listed above to help continue unifying the student body.
“There are just so many memories we made–traditions we set forth for the following years so that next year they can do the same thing,” Beyak said.