Rally welcomes underclassmen as additions to the commission

May 25, 2017 — by Elicia Ye

Students scramble to gain spots on rally commission. 

As Spongebob, Mermaid Man, Jimmy Neutron, Dora the Explorer, Cosmo and Wanda made their way across the quad onto the lawn, the eight current rally commissioners asked the dressed-up applicants to imitate their characters, do wheelbarrows and perform acts on the spot to show their creativity.

Their assignment: Act like farm animals, pretend to eat grass and find random strangers or friends to carry them.

This year, the rally commission hosted tryouts for potential new commissioners on April 20 and 21. With six students applying for an advertised three open spots, the competition and pressure to showcase their spirit made the process even more challenging.

Applicants were expected to attend the first day of tryouts dressed up as a Nickelodeon character of their choice and complete tasks designated by current rally commissioners.

“The whole tryout process is quite nerve-wracking,” said senior commissioner Emma Kovac. “We ask some tough questions during the interview and make them do some pretty embarrassing things. The commission spends a lot of time to select a group of students who meet the criteria but also will get along with us.”

By the end of day two, the veteran commissioners decided to add four additional members. Said Kovac: “It was hard to deny one of them just because [they] had a number [they] were previously set on.”

The additions include sophomore Justin Chao and three freshmen: Payton Stokes, Risa Carter and Liviya Katz.

When commissioner junior Allison Borch tried out for rally as a freshman, she was initially concerned that the commission consisted mostly of upperclassmen.

“I was really intimidated, and there were a lot of seniors who I didn’t know at all,” Borch said. “But [Class of 2016 alumna] Isa [Berardo], who was head commissioner at the time, made me more confident and brought out my outgoing personality.”

Marking a major change from the 2016-17 school year, the newly amended ASB Constitution states that the commission will not be part of the Leadership Class in order to avoid conflicts with the senior-level Media Arts class.

With this change, more students were motivated to apply since they wouldn’t have to experience potential schedule conflicts, according to Borch.

On the second day, applicants dressed formally for an interview and were asked questions such as “Do you have time for rally practices and setups?” “What are your other extracurriculars?” and “Can you make us laugh in 10 seconds?” As all current rally commissioners will be upperclassmen next year, the commission looked to reach out to more freshmen through younger commissioners sophomores Sasha Pickard and David Berkowitz-Sklar.

Because the current commissioners knew many underclassmen personally, and because both Pickard and Berkowitz-Sklar have siblings who are freshmen, they asked their underclassmen connections to help spread the word about the openings.

Since rally has previously advertised its tryout process by encouraging their friends to join, the commission has mainly consisted of the same social groups. As the commission reaches out to more underclassmen, current members attempt to build a more inclusive commission in the future.

“We aim to involve not only people of all ages on campus, but also different cliques and social groups in order to further extend the feeling of school spirit,” Berkowitz-Sklar said.

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