Commission puts extreme effort in rallies

October 20, 2008 — by Robin Liu

Rally commissioners Katie Gasik and Chelsea Sabella dance at a rally on Sept. 5.

Students enter the gym, wearing their class T-shirts and yelling. Suddenly, the lights go off. Music blasts from the speakers. Light reappears and the gym erupts with cheers. This is the thrill that motivates people to become rally commissioners.

Every year at up to six events, the commission, this year composed of seniors Joey Avery, Katie Gasik, Michael Guercio, Laura Ruddy and Mat Spencer, juniors Melissa Archer and Chelsea Sabella and sophomore Aditya Dev, puts together 30 minutes or more of nonstop fun. From the opening dance to the ending class cheers, rallies hold the attention of the school, but few realize the effort that goes into each one.

The commission begins preparations for each rally by brainstorming ideas and working together to pick the best themes and games. From the Beijing Olympics to traveling around the world, the themes are always developed in an entertaining way.

“We’ll usually just be in a circle and everyone will be putting out ideas,” said Gasik. “Someone will start with a little, tiny idea, and it’ll explode to a really good idea.”

However, throughout the planning process the rally commission sometimes runs into trouble when thinking of ideas that will both satisfy students and appease administrators. Because so many of their ideas are either too wild or just impossible to execute in the gym, the commission ends up spending a lot of time trying to get ideas that are feasible.

After organizing a general outline of the rally, they spend hours on preparations, working whenever they can.

“On weeks leading up to [the rally], we’ll have meetings on the weekends,” said Avery. “On the weeknights, sometimes the meetings last up to five hours.”

Weekdays are usually reserved for planning the games, while weekends are spent preparing everything else.

“We usually start a week or two in advance,” said Gasik. “On the weekends, we spend all Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 at night [preparing], and a run-through the Wednesday night before, which is [around] four hours.”

In addition to games and dances, the commission often opens rallies with a video. For example, the night rally on Oct. 1 began with a video of the girl commissioners traveling around the world looking for authentic clothes to wear to the dance.

“We spent a long time [on the video],” said Sabella, “probably 10 hours total.”

All the pressures of preparation can make it hard for the commissioners to cooperate. However, they usually manage to pull through and still get along after each rally.

“It’s a really stressful situation, so everyone is just yelling at each other,” said Gasik. “We all hate each other during the rally, but at the end, everyone is like, ‘Oh, we love each other. We’re all friends.’”

Despite the extensive preparation that goes into every rally, Gasik feels their effort is not fully appreciated by most students.

“We put a lot of work into each rally, and not a lot of people take that into consideration,” said Gasik. “They just go, ‘Oh, that rally sucked’, but really we spent 40 to 50 hours on that ‘bad’ rally.”

Even so, she loves working with friends and being in front of the whole school. The rally commission provides an exciting way to spend tutorial and are the main promoters of school spirit on campus. Even though this is challenging, Avery believes he can contribute his effort through the rally commission.

“There isn’t a whole lot of school spirit here,” said Avery. “I thought that this would be a good chance to create it.”

Many of the rally commissioners also enjoy being able to work with each other and perform in front of everyone and of course the notoriety that comes from being part of the funniest group on campus.

“It looked like the people in the rally commission were just really good, down-to-earth kids. It seemed like a lot of fun, and I wanted to be in front of the entire school,” said Gasik. “I really like being in front of a lot of people [and] entertaining [them].”

For Gasik, being part of the commission will leave many lasting memories.

“My favorite part is when the lights go off and everyone is cheering. You feel like a celebrity,” said Gasik. “It’s really awesome.”

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