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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Rally commission works with restrictions for upcoming year

In the first rally, students were surprised at the amount of  self-deprecation by commissioners. After numerous complaints about jokes made in previous years, the rally commission’s freedom on their material has been limited.
This year they will only be allowed to deride themselves in an attempt to stray away from inside jokes. Each script must be reviewed by the administration, and all participants in activities told the night before the rally that they will be called to participate, said academic adviser Eileen Allen. 
Although in past years scripts were revised, jokes were allowed as long as they were run past the person in reference. After a few incidents of failure to approve jokes by their perspective students, the commission is no longer allowed to include any jokes targeting others. 
The objective of this goal is to reduce bullying at the school. The administration believes that school is a place where all students should feel safe and comfortable, not a place to be singled out.
“The teachers on staff have heard a lot of reactions from students worrying that they were going to get called out or called down on a rally and not wanting to be part of the games,” said Allen, who is helping the rally commission this year. 
Nevertheless, the commissioners, who include seniors Neal Siganporia, Amin Mirzadegan, Amanda Schwartz, Megan Doles and Tyler Tanaka, juniors Rohan Jhalani, Clark Rothenberg, Bronwen Bowen and Tony Capek, and freshman Natalie Miller, say that this new rules may have even brought the group closer in their efforts to keep up and even exceed expectations of previous rallies. 
Siganporia said, “Not being able to make [the same kind of] jokes was tough, but we put the team on our back and pulled together in the end.” 
Students who attended the back-to-school rally had varied opinions on this new approach.   
“They did a good job of handling the obstacle of no ‘student jokes’ by pumping up the crowd with lots of energy and creative games,” senior ASB president Sasan Saadat said. “I think it gives rally the opportunity to come up with funny, clever jokes that don’t have to be at someone’s expense.”
Others, however, were saddened by the change of this tradition.  
“One part of the rallies has always been listening to funny jokes that have to do with various campus drama and when you take that away, it can really limit the rally commission from making rallies even better,” said senior Fred Feyzi. 
However, the commission believes that the changes put forth this year are capable of creating a more friendly, collaborative environment for students. 
“I’d say the biggest change would be the increased camaraderie within our group [rally commission]. Being more unified made us put on a better rally rather than mocking people,” Tanaka said. 
The commission hopes to work with the administration throughout the year to reduce students’ fears and increase student participation. 
“Rallies are about creating school spirit about sports and the things that we offer at school. They’re not about individual events that happened over the weekend,” Allen said. “[Assistant principal] Mrs. Mohnike and I wanted to get the rally commissioners to the point where the scripts and jokes that they are making are universally funny to everyone.” 
 
 
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