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Students, officals debate rally interest

Kristen Edelen | Thursday, October 18, 2007

Though the Student Activities Office said student attendance at pep rallies is still strong, many upperclassmen have stopped going – saying they are too tired or discouraged about Notre Dame’s disappointing football season.

“We appreciate the student support and attendance and feel that is has been strong this year and consistent with previous seasons,” said Josh Berlo, director of athletic ticket operations.

Berlo also said the general public attendance, which includes alumni, was “really strong” at the three rallies this fall.

“We have had lines that wrapped all the way around the stadium,” he said.

The Student Activities Office does not provide breakdowns of what class levels are best represented at pep rallies, said Peggy Hnatusko, director of Student Activities programming.

But some upperclassmen believe the pep rallies have lost their appeal.

Junior John Watkins said he hasn’t been to a pep rally “in a really long time.”

“It is always the same thing anyhow,” Watkins said. “Charlie talks. Players talk. There are only so many ways you can say, ‘Go team go,’ before it gets old.”

Watkins said he thinks pep rallies “are more for alumni to get back into the feel of campus.” As a freshman, however, he attended pep rallies regularly.

Attendance at pep rallies could also be threatened by the Internet – the University has started airing the rallies on the Notre Dame Athletics homepage.

Junior Kristen Brickley watched the Boston College game pep rally from her dorm room on the live Internet feed.

“I found out about it from a friend,” she said.

The feed is easy to access, Brickley said.

“It is displayed right there in the center of the Notre Dame Athletics homepage,” she said. “All you have to do is hit play.”

For some students, however, the idea of pep rallies is not appealing.

“I’m not the type of fan to jump up and down and scream my head off. I guess I’m just not that peppy,” junior Buck Andrews said.

Off-campus senior Colin Ethier also said he thinks pep rallies are more for underclassmen.

“I went when I was younger and had a good time with it but now, for me, they have just lost their luster,” he said.

Saint Mary’s sophomore Kathleen Collins and junior Laura Kleinschmidt, blame busy Fridays for not attending the pep rallies.

“I just want to relax on a Friday afternoon, look forward to the game and save my energy,” Collins said.

“I don’t go as much as I did freshman and sophomore year because when Friday comes, I am ready for a break,” Kleinschmidt said.