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Football pep rallies to move to Irish Green

Sarah Mervosh | Thursday, September 3, 2009

One or two members of the football team, students, families from the community and alumni all mingling in one large field – the future of Notre Dame pep rallies looks drastically different than what students are used to, student body vice president Cynthia Weber said at Wednesday’s Student Senate meeting.

Due to the renovation of the Joyce Center and the University’s effort to accommodate community members and alumni who wish to attend, half of this year’s pep rallies have been moved to Irish Green, the large field behind the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

The administration has scheduled pep rallies to take place at Irish Green for the Michigan State, Washington, Boston College and Navy games. The remaining pep rallies will take place at various campus locations.

“We are a little bit concerned about it from a student perspective,” Weber said. “The dynamic of a pep rally on a field with only a few football players is definitely different.”

Senators voiced similar concerns about the change of venue at the Senate meeting, and offered alternative solutions for student-run pep rallies.

“I definitely think we should do something as an alternative because I don’t feel like that’s really a pep really what we’re talking about on the Irish Green,” Duncan Hall representative C.J. Kelly said. “I feel like that’s more like a fair for alumni and people coming from the community. I feel like as students, we’re not getting anything out of it.”

Marc Anthony Rosa from Keough Hall said that pep rallies should cater first and foremost to the students, and that the pep rally will be too far away if held at Irish Green.

“Holding it on Irish Green so far away from where everyone works, where everyone plays, I think its’ a negative transition,” Rosa said. “I think we need to bring it closer to the dorms, closer to where people are.”

Although the administration has already decided the pep rallies will take place at Irish Green, students could decide to hold their own alternative pep rally, student body president Grant Schmidt said.

“Students can put on our own event. If it is something that is a big enough concern, we can get the students in our own venue,” Schmidt said.

Keenan representative Chase Riddle suggested having pep rallies on one of the quads on campus.

Pep rallies were “one of my favorite things about freshmen year last year,” he said, and said he is concerned that freshmen will be missing out on the tradition of a pep rally.

“What about trying to hold one somewhere as we said on North Quad, for one of the midseason [games]?” he said. “Similar to Dillon Hall pep rally, but a North Quad one. Or on God Quad. Just to keep it little closer, bring it back to the students”

Bradley McDonald from O’Neil Hall expressed concern about the time of the pep rallies, which are planned to start at 6:30 p.m.

“A lot of dorms have traditions starting at 4 o’clock,” he said. “If you start the pep rally at 6:30 p.m., I don’t see how there are any students going … They get all rowdy and then you have all this down time.”

Despite these concerns, Andrew Bell of Knott Hall suggested that students attend the first pep rally at Irish Green to see how it goes.

“Maybe we don’t come out and really bash it before we go to one. The concept of it doesn’t sound too appealing to students, but I’m not sure the University is going to respond to our complaints if we haven’t been to one,” he said. “If it really goes bad, I think we’ll have more leeway in changing it.”

The Senate did not decide whether the students would have an alternative pep rally. This weekend’s Nevada pep rally will take place Friday on South Quad as part of the annual Dillon Hall rally.

On the Thursday before the Michigan away game, there will be a student-only pep-rally in Stepan Center, Weber said.

The USC pep rally is tentatively scheduled to take place in the Notre Dame Stadium, and the Connecticut pep rally will be held in the Purcell Pavilion in the Joyce Center, according to the Notre Dame Web site.

In other Senate news:

u Student Government is working on extending the TRANSPO Bus hours to 3:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The bus provides a free alternative to students who wish to come back to campus on weekend nights.

“The purpose is safety … The issue is that student are walking around individually or in small groups in downtown South Bend and people have been hurt before,” Weber said.

The change has not been implemented yet and is still in the works.