Student’s enthusiasm for pep rallies dwindles

Emily Humble, Staff Reporter

It’s no secret that many students would rather be doing something else, rather than attend the mandatory prep rallies occasionally held on Fridays. Though the cheerleader’s performances are dazzling, the drum line inspiring, and the most recent Silver Stars performance, very moving; a sizeable part of the student body would rather stay in their classroom and study than be packed into a hot, loud, overcrowded gym.

Sophomore Aria Dang is one of those students who would rather be doing something else.

“I feel as if you could use that time to study for other classes… I’ve never been really interested in pep rallies,” she said.

Again, Dang is not alone. There are many students who, if the pep rallies were optional, would not attend.  

The purpose of a pep rally is to rally school spirit and get the student body excited for an upcoming game or event. But do our pep rallies have this effect? Maybe for some students, but for most of us, not really.

KPARK doesn’t have a lot of school spirit to begin with. The occasional pep rally is not enough to create a healthy sense of pride in one’s school, and secondly, I think KPARK is probably too big for the kind of school spirit these pep rallies are for. It is much easier for a small school to have a strong sense of community and identification with their school – those schools care if their sports teams lose, even if they don’t know anyone on the team. That doesn’t exist at KPARK, in that way. If the baseball team loses, but someone doesn’t really know anyone on the team, they couldn’t care less. When someone is on a team, there is plenty of identification with that team, or group. But that’s the farthest extent of school spirit at KPARK. There isn’t a sense of large scale community.

Another part of that disconnect is the compulsory attendance of the pep rallies. Ideally, a pep rally is a sort of thing that feels natural to let out your pride in your school or team. When KPARK’s rallies try to force that spirit out of the students, it causes further resentment, and leads most to the idea that the rallies are silly and a waste of time.

Another point that is often made, as students complain about attending a pep rally, is that their group does not get recognition. Football gets the great majority, as all of our pep rallies except for one have been during or around football season. People in other sports see this, and they are not very happy about it. During the last pep rally, the girls varsity soccer team, which has been undefeated and is number one in their district, planned to storm the gym floor to secure a seat where the team being honored at the pep rally sits. That didn’t happen though, and they only got a brief, weak shout out during the part where the teacher reads the list of teams that they don’t care enough about to throw a pep rally for.

All this leads to the general consensus from the student body that if the rallies were not mandatory, most wouldn’t go. So, should we make them optional, knowing that doing so would cause attendance to drop to dismal numbers? It may be pretty unfair to all the groups who perform at the pep rally, but I still say that yes, they should be optional. Without a solid foundation of enthusiasm, KPARK’s pep rallies are a waste of time. Students (and teachers) would rather be doing something other than be stuffed into that hot gym, pretending to cheer for something they don’t care about. We need to have school spirit first, before we put on all the theatrics to celebrate it.