By Harrison Grigorian '19
The STA homecoming pep rally is a great idea. It allows for both the upper and lower schools to come together (a rarity) to get excited for the weekend’s sports games and other events. However, there are some solvable problems that limit the pep rally’s potential.
1. The Date
The Pep rally is done on the Thursday before homecoming. A full 24 hours before soccer typically kicks off on Friday, and 48 hours before football on Saturday. Thus, much of the excitement from the rally itself has faded. We should instead have the rally on Friday during office hours. The week is over, so there is nothing anyone has to be doing during the timeslot. Also, this date would allow students to go directly from the pep rally to the game, carrying over the excitement.
2. The Location
The pep rally is held in the Martin gym, potentially the dreariest place on the Close’s vibrant campus. While the rest of the Close is filled with gardens, and STA’s main building (Marriott Hall) is like one big glass cube, the Martin gym has zero natural lighting and feels rather cramped. The rally should be outside in the bleachers on the field, assuming the weather allows it. October in DC is usually very nice and the weather and space would allow the pep rally to be even more hype.
3. The Vibe
The pep rally’s vibe can be, well, “subpar”. Anyone who observes can see that. It is forced at times and it shows. The program for the event is a bit awkward, as coaches make short speeches followed by sometimes futile attempts by the captains to fire up the crowd. The event begins to feel rather rigid and too structured. To fix this, we could allow the captains five minutes each to talk about their teams. This period could include a combination of actual hype and of banter about his own team. Overall, the pep rally’s rigidity lowers the excitement, and with a looser program, we would see results.
The pep rally is a good event to muster school spirit, but if executed better, it could bring even more spirit and hype to Bulldog sporting events.