Spirit during assemblies resembles pep rallies

Senior chirps promote rowdy environment in JNA


Josie Lagerstrom

Assemblies are currently transforming from students quietly listening, into a more lively crowd.

Recently, our assemblies have become more rowdy, with seniors chanting and constant name yellings when speakers walk up to the stage. In fact, some students believe that our assemblies are becoming close to pep rallies.

Decide between two options: a pep rally or assembly time. A pep rally is an occasion where a group of community energizes the school by taking breaks, while assembly time is an event for reflection to slow down the pace of the day. An example of a pep rally would be an assembly session of costumes and dress-up themes for homecoming week. It turns out that there are ambivalent feelings for which one may be more preferable. With an ongoing trend of senior pep rallies, some have questioned the purpose of these shoutouts.

Others have claimed that there should be even more outbursts in these sort of events. Michael Smith ‘17 proclaims, “I think it is an excellent idea [to have pep rallies]. I would say that pep rallies are a good idea if everyone can get behind them. For example, the upperclassmen can always get rowdy, but at the end of the day, it is a matter of school spirit, not one grade making up for the rest. It’s just how Blake culture works.”

Sam Gelb ‘18 also seems to conflate the idea of an assembly with a pep rally, “I look forward to assembly time. I appreciate the rowdy assemblies. I enjoy watching the seniors chant.” So does Joe Mairs ‘18, “Assemblies should do more. They are so much fun.”

As the year progresses, senior speeches will take more of assembly time, and it’s also important to consider how assemblies affect Blake’s culture. Sometimes, assemblies must strike a balance between conformity and elation, as Alita Shenk states, “I really like the speeches. If it’s picking one over another, I would rather have speeches, but I think there can be things woven into assemblies like maybe once a month we have an activity such as a pep rally. Giving a student a voice is an important skill to develop and have.” Furthermore, Kai Sovell ‘19 claims, “I think that a mix of both pep rallies and assemblies would keep that time period during the day engaging.”

Greg Dawson, a speech and communication teacher, explains, “the primary purpose of the assembly program should be respectfully hearing our seniors; give them a chance to make the most of an unique opportunity and give the audience the gift of hearing different beliefs, thoughts, and concerns. The ability to use extra time as a more public forum for school events and recognition is a wonderful bonus.”

Therein lies the balance between pep rallies and assemblies: giving students their own voices and respecting the calmer nature of assemblies. Although students and teachers may have different beliefs on how we should use our voices, it’s important to consider that it’s the only part of the day that the whole school get together as one.