The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Satire distinguishes Dillon rally

Kathleen McDonnell | Thursday, September 7, 2006

Every home football game has a pep rally complete with dorm cheers, the band and pom squad performances. But just one rally dares to poke fun at aspects of life under the Dome and send a fur-clad freshman around campus to advertise.

Held once a year prior to Notre Dame’s home opener, the Dillon Pep Rally will take place tonight at 7 p.m. on South Quad.

Dillon men have been preparing the script throughout the summer and putting in long hours of rehearsal this fall, Dillon president and pep rally organizer Andy Hellmuth said.

More than rehearsals, Hellmuth said, the most integral form of preparation lies in a special Dillon Hall tradition.

“Most importantly, we prepare for the pep rally by finding our Teen Wolf, Dillon’s unofficial mascot,” he said.

While freshmen do not have the opportunity to be cast in the skits, two have been selected from a group of 15-20 willing students to don the costume, becoming the face of Dillon Hall and the voice of the pep rally.

“[The teen wolves] don a werewolf costume and run around campus, catching people’s attention in anyway they can,” Hellmuth said.

While an invitation by a wolf may be enough in itself to entice some to check out the pep rally, the prospect of a hilarious show and of special guest appearances should draw others, Hellmuth said.

“It helps the campus to kick off the football season with guest speakers to pump the crowd up,” he said. “It also provides great entertainment with a production that is full of witty, satirical humor that everyone will enjoy.”

In satirizing campus life, the Dillon Pep Rally runs the risk – like the annual February comedy show the Keenan Revue – of facing scrutiny from offended members of the campus community. But organizers urge students to remember the humor is all in good fun.

“We do a great job of poking fun at certain things at Notre Dame,” co-organizer Rob Arseniadis said. “I’m sure there have been several questionable jokes in the past, but we try not to target specific individuals or group, but rather poke fun about certain stereotypes on campus.”

While tradition prevents organizers from revealing guest speakers, last year’s pep rally featured both Charlie Weis and Brady Quinn. Arseniadis said this year’s choices won’t students down.

“We have some terrific surprises before and during the show,” Arseniadis said. “The show’s success is always tough to repeat, but I think we’ve done it again this year.”

Hellmuth especially urged freshmen to attend so they can “finally experience what true dorm spirit is” in attending the first signature dorm event of the year.