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Rally reform needed for attendedance increase

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I’m a ’76 alum who normally doesn’t feel it’s appropriate to get involved in The Observer’s discussions. However, in the case of Rohan Anand’s article on the decline in pep rally participation, I think a little “institutional memory” jog would be helpful. I’ve attended one of the events that ND now calls a “pep rally,” and – in honor of Lloyd Bentsen – I have to say, “I’ve known ND pep rallies. ND pep rallies were a friend of mine. But, current ND students, these are NOT real pep rallies!”

Why don’t today’s students want to attend? Simple: Today’s events are automated, sanitized, emotionless shells of what used to rock Stepan Center and, before that, the Field House. You’re a high IQ bunch – you can smell a fake a mile away. A real pep rally requires approximately 30 minutes of the following: • A locale that ensures extremely crowded, standing-room-only conditions. • Attendance by only students, team, coaches, and the band. (Everyone else should be afraid to attend.) • Room temperature of at least 90 degrees. • Poor loudspeaker quality. • Loud, hoarse tributes by the coaching staff. • Loud, hoarse exhortations by selected team members. • Loud, hypnotic, repeated playing of the Victory March. • Constant screaming by students.

I don’t want to hear that Stepan is too small. It was too small in the ’70s, too. That just gave us extra incentive to get there early and get in. Father Jenkins was in my class and Coach Weis was two years later. They remember what pep rallies used to be. Enlist them to help bring back the real Notre Dame Pep Rally experience. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

Jeanine Sterling


Class of 1976

Oct. 9