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Student-only rally returns

Christian Myers | Thursday, September 30, 2010

It’s the pep rally equivalent of a philosophy paper — cut the flowery prose and get to the point.

That means less waiting around, no media, no skits, no videos, no alumni and no administrators at tonight’s pep rally.

A students-only pep rally for the Boston College game will take place at 8 p.m. tonight in the Stepan Center.

Irish coach Brian Kelly, the team’s gameday captains and leprechaun David Zimmer will be the featured speakers. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the rally is expected to end around 8:30 p.m., said Barrick Bollman, chairman of the organizing committee for the pep rally.

Students will need to present a valid Notre Dame ID to gain entrance and only the first 2,300 students will be admitted.

Last year, a similar pep rally took place before the Michigan game, Bollman said.

“I think that last year’s student-only pep rally was universally considered the best pep rally of the year, and even the last few years,” he said.

The goal of the student-only pep rally is to increase student participation and show the football team just how strongly the student body supports them, student body president Catherine Soler said.

“It’s a fun chance to get back to the basics, go crazy in the privacy of other students and celebrate the unique spirit of the ND student body,” Soler said.

Bollman said the feedback from students was that pep rallies have become increasingly commercialized and alumni-oriented. Bollman hopes tonight’s student-only rally will show what it is like to remove those aspects and bring the focus back to the team and the students.

“It’s students-only, so we are free to get as absolutely crazy as we want and it’s a little more uncensored. It will be like those crazy pep rallies that people’s parents always talk about,” Bollman said.

Senior Colin Fisher expects the move away from commercialism to be a positive one.

“I think it might help to get more people excited if students feel like they are a bigger part of the rally,” he said.

But freshman Andrew Streit wished more people were allowed to attend the rally.

“Why would you limit attendance? I say the more people the better,” he said.

Though tonight’s pep rally will be student-focused, the more fundamental purpose of the pep rally is quite simple — to create excitement about Saturday’s football game against Boston College and support the football team.

“Student support is the most important aspect of Notre Dame football and this is our chance to show it,” Bollman said. “The players will be entering right through the student body, giving us a chance to really interact with the team.”