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Students give mixed reviews of Pep Rally

John McKissick | Monday, September 7, 2009

The return of Dillon Hall’s signature pep rally to campus was met with mixed reviews by students, although the event, which took place Friday afternoon on South Quad, was well attended,

“I’ve never seen so many people together in my life,” freshman Kathleen Monahan said.

The Pep Rally – which included skits were students impersonated University President Fr. John Jenkins, Irish coach Charlie Weis and even former Irish coach Ty Willingham – attempted to avoid the controversy that had dogged the event in past years.

“It started off kind of slow, but it picked up,” junior Justin Brown said.

Certain skits stood out in the minds of students who attended the event. Sophomore John Kelly said one highlight was a skit titled, ‘CS-CSI’ – a play on titles of CBS’ hit shows and the order of priests that founded Notre Dame.

“I thought it was quite well-written,” said Kelly.

This year’s Pep Rally also included a musical number, “Here at ND,” parodying “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. It featured backup dancers dressed as a quarter dog, the golden dome and Touchdown Jesus.

“I thought it was fun. The skits were a little awkward,” freshman Maricruz Menchero said. “But I did like the dance.”

The Pep Rally – as is tradition – allowed students to display dorm pride.

“Every dorm had a flag except for Badin,” freshman Brianna Neblung said. “Our flag’s still sitting outside the hall government office.”

Dillon also used their stage as an opportunity to poke fun at their long-time rival, Alumni Hall. One skit featured the men of Alumni dancing across the stage in tights, which elicited some jeers from the crowd.

“I have no comment. The skit was horrible. People from Alumni were so fed up, (they) actually left after a half hour,” freshman Matt Schirtzinger said.

While some students liked some of the individual skits, many more said the overarching storyline behind the skits was hard to follow.

“I didn’t really understand what was going on,” freshman Margaret Bellon said. “The conflict wasn’t resolved.”

Other complained that the event was poorly planned and the layout of the stage made it hard for the people in back to see.

“I would have made the stage higher,” Monahan said. “Lots of people were around me, asking, ‘What’s going on?'”

Neblung said the skits failed to engage the student body and left much to be desired.

“Maybe if [the Pep Rally had] something a little more student interactive, engaging the dorms, getting the spirit going,” she said. “The skits didn’t get us excited.”

Kelly disagreed, saying the skits helped “hype up the crowd more.”

“It condensed the best parts of a Dillon Pep Rally and a regular pep rally,” he said. “It was more hilarious than any attempt by SAO.”