Rallying Change in the Pep Rally

Jenna Bockman, Contributing Writer

Students and faculty of CB South will take notice of a new atmosphere on October 16th, as members of the Senior Council are aiming to make this year’s Pep Rally a perfect start to Homecoming weekend.

Senior Class President Garrett Bullock, along with Senior Class Historian Joanna Timmerman and Senior Class Advisor Mr. Balkit, discussed some of the negative aspects from past pep rallies and the plans to make this year’s have positive results for all members of the school.

Being the first school event of Homecoming weekend, pep rallies are used to generate “school spirit” and “excitement going into a weekend of a lot of events,” Mr. Balkit said.

However, students and teachers have expressed that past pep rallies have not been at optimal levels.

“Teachers hated [the pep rallies during Titan Forum] because kids were rowdy throughout the whole day,” Garrett Bullock said. For almost 10 years, South’s pep rallies were held during Titan Forum, at 9:00am, and conclude about 30 minutes later.

“We’re trying to recognize that students and teachers would prefer that the pep rally be toward the end of the day,” Mr. Balkit said. “Going to second block…after being told to be obnoxious and loud is kind of a hard transition.”

“Kids can now begin their Homecoming weekend right away and hopefully be more eager to attend the Fall Fest afterwards,” Joanna Timmerman added.

In addition to the timing of the pep rally, the Senior Council is implementing a different approach to the actual activities within the event.

The Senior Council struggled with finding ways to increase interaction with the audience and the participants because, Mr. Balkit explained, “when you have 700 kids doing anything it’s just going to be chaos.”

In hopes of finding the balance between interaction and entertainment, Bullock introduced that the pep rally will be “a little more Black vs. Blue Night themed.” Due to last year’s Black vs. Blue Night’s great success, the officers expressed that they planned to incorporate the same kind of positivity in the pep rally.

In addition, Mr. Balkit explained that the opportunity to do the activities on the gym floor will be open to anyone who is interested. He encouraged any interested volunteers to e-mail titancouncil16@gmail.com for a chance to be chosen from the raffle.

With the theme change and open participation, the hopes of obtaining the interaction element are high.

Not only was the interaction between audience and performing problematic, but the arrangement of the audience within itself was at fault as well.

Mr. Balkit said that he noticed that “the sophomores [would] tend to get isolated” when the audience was divided by grade. Rather than grade level being a deciding factor, students will now be divided “arbitrarily” into either the black or blue team. This will hopefully pull away from the “anti-sophomore” sense and direct the spirit towards the fun and positivity of the actual pep rally.

Overall, Garrett hopes that these changes with really “give the kids the opportunity to enjoy themselves.”

He also hopes that if these changes do receive positive responses, pep rallies in the future will forever be less of a “kids shuffling to the gymnasium and moaning” event and more of a kids looking forward to having a good time event.

Mr. Balkit said he hopes that the main objective, encouraging kids “to be loud and just enjoy their time in the building,” will be reached with these changes in effect.

“I’m [very] optimistic about [the changes]…every year we try to do it better,” Mr. Balkit added. And with the time, theme, and audience changes, he sees a great pep rally in South’s future.