The Great Pep Rally Crisis of 2019

students and student organizations respond to proposal to cancel pep rallies


Marcie Young

Members of the class of 2020 cheer for their classmates during the fall pep rally during the 18-19 school year. As of this moment, the future of pep rallies at PIHS hangs in the balance, unless students step up and prove they want to participate in them. “The pep rallies are an s time to build school camaraderie. As a class advisor, I am pleased that the tradition will continue. It is a wonderful time to reinvigorate them so that students and staff will find them worthwhile,” said Melanie Junkins, senior class advisor.

Elizabeth Collins, Staff Writer

At the start of the 19-20 school year, it came to light that the PIHS Athletics Office had decided to not hold any pep rallies, due to prior years’ lack of interest and participation from students.

“A more accurate statement would have been that we aren’t going to do them [pep rallies] the same way,” said SAD 1 Athletics Director Mark White.

In an email from student council adviser and social studies teacher Zack Powers, Powers reassured student council members that no, pep rallies haven’t been cancelled – yet – and that they may take on a different format. “Pep rallies have been scheduled and as of right now, Varsity Club is going to handle a revamp of how we present the teams and JUG competition,” Powers wrote.

“Student Council will handle a Winter Carnival event, and the Athletics Office is going to handle the logistics of it all,” said Powers.

Pep rallies aren’t seen as a bad thing by administration, but they don’t provide the excitement they used to.

According to White, “The problem I saw, it just was stale. And I need to own some of that, but whole classes weren’t participating.”

Members of student council also agree that the threat of cancelled pep rallies should be enough to inspire classes to give it their all this year. “The pep rally cancellation crisis was quite the wake up call,” said Sophia Lambert, a senior student council member, “The council realizes that we have reached a tipping point. If things don’t improve, there isn’t much of an argument we can make against the cancellation of pep rallies.”

“The student council and Varsity Club are working to revamp pep rallies, but receiving support and enthusiasm from the student body at this point is critical,”  Lambert said.

Though some people don’t actively participate during the pep rallies, they give a unique view into the way each grade level works.

Signey Johnston ‘21 said, “Pep rallies aren’t for everyone, but they have and always will be a huge part of bringing the school together. It’s one of the few times all grades can experience each other at once and understand more about what is going on at the high school.”

Pep rallies allow students to scope out the other classes, and prepare for bigger school spirit events, like Winter Carnival.

Now that pep rallies are still here, this school year is the chance to prove that they should stay.

Powers wrote, “I can’t stress this enough, even though we are still having pep rallies, we are at a tipping point. If things don’t go well with these next rallies, then there won’t be much we can do to stop their cancellation.”

The Varsity Club, advised by Erika Bernard, is now in charge of helping to plan pep rallies. Student Council will plan the competitions during pep rallies for Winter Carnival points, and the Athletics Office will handle the logistics.

The first pep rally of the year will be October 24.