Leading up to this year’s annual pep rally, rumors ran rampant through the halls of Hanover High School. Students were speculating to each other about the supposed changes made by student council to the yearly rally, which has been infamous for flooding students with spirit and school pride at the end of a long, creative, and colorful spirit week. Some whispered about plans to boycott, and some mumbled about the possibility of not being allowed at the rally unless you played a sport. But regardless of whether every student was in agreement with the new changes, they all managed to give the new rally format a chance. Whether the rally was a success would be left up to the students to decide.
During years past on the day of the rally, students were encouraged to wear their class color to support their grade, and would also be sectioned off in the bleachers to sit with their coordinating classes in the gym at the end of the day. A series of events and activities would follow, participants being volunteers from each grade that would compete against each other.
This year, however, this classic routine was broken and changes were made to certain aspects. For instance, now, instead of being sectioned off by grade, students were allowed to sit wherever they wanted. In addition, the student population was encouraged to wear simply “Hanover” colors and apparel instead of their class colors. And instead of having volunteers from each grade participate in various events, seniors from each fall sports team were required to compete against each other in activities like tug-of-war and basketball knock-out.
Students at first disagreed with these changes, claiming that limiting the activities to only seniors who play fall sports is discriminatory against the students who don’t play sports. However in years past, everyone has always had a chance to participate, and nobody stepped up! Last year, I had the unfortunate experience of trying to convince my classmates to sign up for activities. There were so many spots and so very few students willing to take them! Not all freshmen were brave enough to step up and participate alongside seniors in front of the entire school, and with these new policies, they are spared from doing just that.
Though reactions may have been mixed both in anticipation to these changes and after they had been made, I personally think that these changes were much-needed and beneficial for the high school community as a whole. At the last rally, it took incredible effort on the part of the teachers to coerce the students down from the bleachers to join in the activities. But this year, the whole event went smoothly. The events segued easily one after another, with no awkward pauses in between while teachers rallied to cajole students down from the safety of the bleachers.
After the final shouts and screams as the rally fizzled to an end, students went home either satisfied or displeased with the outcome of the newly changed rally. In my perspective, the whole experience seemed much better in regards to its flow. It certainly did a great job of spreading spirit and pride through the students of HHS, demonstrated, if not by anything else, than by the echoing shouts bouncing off the gym walls as students hollered their excitement and pride for their school. The whole purpose of the rally, after all, is to bring together all of the classes as one and unite Hanover High in all of its diversity. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which class is the loudest and most vicious, nor does it matter which grade wins at tug-of-war. It’s about being brought together in all of Hanover High’s blue, gold, and white glory. And I think the rally truly did accomplish that.