By: Olivia M.
Duxbury High School students participated in the first pep rally of the 2013-2014 school year on Friday, October 11, 2013. After being called to the gymnasium, students were ushered into the bleachers and not segregated by grade. DHS principal Mr. Stephens said, “I don’t see that sitting kids by class would make it a better event, given the point of it.”
“Spirit week is about class, but homecoming is not about that,” he added. Many students disagree with this thought. Sophomore Heather O. said the pep rally was disorganized and confusing at times.
The upperclassmen attempted the ritualistic chant of “sit down freshmen” but this year the cheer was, “stand up freshmen.” Freshman Claire B. said, “The faculty shouldn’t be concerned about the upperclassmen chanting “stand up freshmen” because we don’t mind, it’s part of a tradition.”
A mechanical bull was rented for the event. The fall varsity sports captains were in charge of selecting one victim from their team to ride it. “The bull riding was entertaining but I felt bad because the fall sports captains had to chose someone on the spot,” said Claire B. This was the highlight of the pep rally for many and seemed to bring enthusiasm and spirit to an otherwise lacking event. Mr. Stephens noted that during the bull riding, people were willing to put themselves out there for the enjoyment of others which takes a lot of guts.
Following the bull riding, the homecoming court was supposed to be announced. However, the administration heard that certain kids had been nominated as a joke or as funny pairings. The administration further researched these claims. These students were not selected for the reasons the administration had hoped for. Freshman Siobhan T. said, “I thought that not announcing homecoming was the right thing to do because people were doing it to be mean and I felt sorry for them.” She agreed with the decision to withhold the winners and with the announcement made by Mr. Stephens over the loudspeaker a few days after the pep rally.
In his announcement, Mr. Stephens explained that homecoming court was not publicized as students were nominated in a joking manner. Sophomore Riley D. said, “Mr. Stephens’s announcement was accurate however, it wasn’t necessary since it made the winners feel as though they did not deserve it.” Elizabeth V., a junior said that she was shocked by the principal’s announcement and did not know people were being voted for as a joke.
Everyone knows the recent pep rallies have lacked a certain spirit. “Collective embracing is the point of the pep rally. At times it is there, at others it is not,” said Mr. Stephens. Junior Kailin M. said that when she was a freshman, the pep rallies were entertaining but, they have declined over the past few years. In order to improve the pep rallies, Mr. Stephens thinks that more student involvement in the planning would be beneficial as the student council officers and advisors do most of the arrangement. Siobhan T. said that the pep rally should be taken more seriously by students and Riley D. added that she hopes for more activities that involve a greater number of students in the future.