Rallies require some rethinking

June 4, 2008 — by Sophia Cooper

School rallies are often the highlight of a student’s week: the loud music, crazy dances and home-made costumes add some spirit to a stressful time. And yet, SHS rallies don’t always live up to their potential.

Since the rallies are usually held during Friday tutorials, academic conflicts force to skip them because
of academic conflicts to make up tests or labs – or they just need to study.

Part of SHS’s Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) report, compiled by teachers, administrators, parents and students, focused on school spirit. Rallies were included as an effort to boost spirit. But the teachers who helped write this report and were concerned with the lack of spirit still have students miss the rallies to make up work. The problem deserves attention.

One idea is to hold night rallies. Night rallies would help to decrease the scheduling conflict between academic responsibilities and the rallies.

Another solution is to take a few minutes off of each class period during the day and make a rally period, a practice abandoned after the 2004-2005 school year. Although teachers’ dislike of these schedules caused them to be discontinued, the attendance at the rallies was much greater when the rallies were embedded into the school day. If this practice was adopted yet again, rally attendance, and also school spirit, would increase exponentially.

In addition to the scheduling conflicts, rallies lack a variety of participation. Most participants are acquaintances or friends of the rally commissioners and participate in almost every rally. The largest variety of participants during a rally was the Rubik’s Cube contest. If this range of students was invited to play games at every rally, it would encourage more attendance by hopeful participants.

Although the rally commission has sometimes showed poor judgment of activities in the past, part of the entertainment of the rallies is the crazy antics. Games such as “skiing” your way across the gym with four people taped to two-by-fours aren’t very exciting. If the commission were allowed a little more freedom, games and activities would provide students with more reasons to attend rallies.

With these things in mind, perhaps the new rally commission can start the 2008-2009 year fresh. By reworking the scheduling, participants and games, attendance at the rallies could fill the Large Gym.
Who knows? Maybe the two newspaper staffs will have a layout race at the kick-off rally. Now that would definitely be entertaining.

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