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Pep rally skit decision made without considering compromise

Pep rally tradition taken away: students say the skits must stay

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Pep rally skit decision made without considering compromise

Girls' cross country takes the floor in a creative skit at the Mack Plaque pep rally in the fall of 2016.

Girls' cross country takes the floor in a creative skit at the Mack Plaque pep rally in the fall of 2016.

Photo by Emily Schackart

Girls' cross country takes the floor in a creative skit at the Mack Plaque pep rally in the fall of 2016.

Photo by Emily Schackart

Photo by Emily Schackart

Girls' cross country takes the floor in a creative skit at the Mack Plaque pep rally in the fall of 2016.

Liz Iaconis, Editor-in-Chief

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The Mack Plaque pep rally this past fall might’ve been the worst in LHS history.

This event leading up to the most anticipated weekend of the year for Lancer athletics lacked spirit and put many students in extremely uncomfortable situations. But now, five months later, the repercussions of this failure are just being felt, and the actions of a few students are negatively impacting the entirety of Lancer Nation.

When the pep rally team began preparations for the winter pep rally, the now infamous pep rally rules paper was distributed to athletes playing winter sports. There was a new addition though: athletes will no longer be taking the gym floor performing creative skits. Instead, the rules sheet states that teams “will enter to the school fight song… break through [their] banner, then find a place on the floor.”

It’s hard enough to get the student body on their feet for one performance of the school fight song. Now, kids will be slumping through the same tune a whopping eight times as athletes drag their feet to a spot on the gym floor.

And why?

Yes, this fall, a student was thrown to the ground and ended up in urgent care—indeed a “safety hazard,” as the skits have been deemed. But an isolated incident by a handful of players on a single team does not call for judgment of Lancer Nation as a whole.

The pep rally team acted rashly by removing skits from the pep rallies altogether when there was clear room for compromise.

In the past, according to current LHS athletes, skits had to be approved by absolutely no one before they went into action on the floor, and previous pep rally rule statements contained phrases like “use common sense” or “see Mr. Juster if you have any questions” to guide the students creating skits.

There’s no way to measure those standards. With such loose regulations and extremely unclear consequences, it’s challenging to hold students accountable for their behavior and nearly impossible to punish students fairly when it’s necessary.

Instead of ridding the pep rallies completely of one of the students’ favorite parts though, the pep rally team did have other options. They could have worked with the administration to create a clear and consistent policy, set rules for pep rally skits that includes oversight, and determine consequences for athletes who choose to disobey their regulations.

If these individuals found a middle ground and made each team put plans for their skit in writing, it would allow admin and the pep rally team to preemptively oversee what plays out on the gym floor. It would show planning and hold students accountable for their actions; it would benefit everyone involved, but this time they took the easy way out by cutting skits totally, and a consistently interesting and exciting part of the pep rallies has been removed.

Pep rally aides meet to run through their script the week of the pep rally anyway, so it wouldn’t even be challenging to have teams share their ideas or present their skits for approval on that same day. That way, the people who need to keep the pep rallies under control know exactly what to expect on the big day, athletes feel confident and rehearsed, and pep rally aides can be more relaxed, knowing that their music transitions and banner placements would run smoothly.

However, when the new rules paper was released the pep rally team, headed by Mr. Juster, stated on the sheet that athletes would take this news about no skits as a “relief” and that the pep rallies will still be “high-energy.” This just doesn’t seem like it will be the case.

If the athletes don’t have this freedom of expression anymore, shouldn’t the dance team, cheerleaders, band, and drumline be silenced as well? How is it fair to penalize athletes and leave musicians, dancers and other groups to go about their routines with no changes?

If a privilege is taken from one group, it should be taken from them all because each aspect of the pep rally has always been equally important at LHS.

Winter athletes like senior Max DesRosiers have been looking forward to their entrances for months. DesRosiers said he was excited to take the floor with boys’ basketball, but without a unique skit, that enthusiasm has been lost.

Senior girls’ basketball player Olivia Yerian is also disappointed to take the floor with her teammates for the final time in such a boring fashion.

Lancer Hockey’s skit has always been a crowd favorite, but this season we’ll have to miss out on whatever dance or movie spin-off the boys had planned.

Some single sport varsity athletes wait for this chance to express themselves in front of the entire school all year long, and now that opportunity is gone.

But it didn’t end with the athletes. Students across all grades, clubs, and backgrounds openly expressed their dissent for this decision the day the news broke. Photos of the updated rules sheet appeared on Snapchat stories from freshmen to seniors. Pep rally skits became the topic of conversation in the hallways, at the lunch tables, and at home with family that night.

Junior wrestler Mike Watts even began a student petition publicized through social media and created on change.org against the removal of skits from the pep rally, and over 300 students in LHS signed in the course of six hours. The petition may have collected more signatures but was taken down when Watts received an email from Mr. Parent who offered a productive meeting to discuss pep rally skits. Watts closed the petition with the statement that it was a “victory.”

And although there will be no skits in the pep rally tomorrow, this victory did lead to a meeting where, thanks to student action, admin and the pep rally team showed willingness to cooperate and consider re-implementing skits in the spring sports pep rally.

Watts was thankful for the opportunity, and students with little connection to athletics at LHS showed their support for the inclusion of skits in our pep rallies and Watts’ efforts. 

Pep rallies have always been about the whole student body, not individual parts. Pep rallies are run by students, with students center stage, for students to show their spirit in unique and creative ways. Skits have proven to be a significant piece of that, and therefore, they should stay.

Decision made: no skits at the winter pep rally

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13 Comments

13 Responses to “Pep rally skit decision made without considering compromise”

  1. Patrick Cohen on January 10th, 2019 10:55 pm

    LHR

  2. nate cripe on January 11th, 2019 10:33 am

    good writing Elizabeth

  3. Evan Cormier on January 11th, 2019 10:37 am

    Londonderry High School ruins last pep rally for all seniors involved in winter sports.

    Worst pep rally in recent memory (possibly of all time) ruins the day of celebration for literally everyone involved (unless your name is Hans Hendricks or Lexi Nimitz). The most unentertaining and underwhelming 2 hours of my life was capped off with quite possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever witnessed, shout out to Hans.

    But for everyone else in the building on the fateful day of January 11th, not a good time. I would like to use this time to explain the deep sorrow I feel for the hockey team. Every year Lancer Hockey Rules at the winter pep rally and delivers a top notch performance that always shakes the audience to our core. This year, under the unfortunate circumstances, they once more did not disappoint. They had the kahunas to peacefully protest the new, borderline unconstitutional, rules regarding the skits.

    Yes, we understand that suplexing kids is not okay, however, a group of men in jean shorts doing The Dougie is always okay. Correct me if I’m wrong but pep rallies are for building pep and getting excited about the winter sports, this pep rally had more of a “lock myself in my room and tell my friends I have the flu” type vibe.

  4. Biggest LHR Fan on January 11th, 2019 11:36 am

    Aye let’s just put down the basketball hoop then make the basketball players try to push hockey pucks together to hit each other instead of having them dunk or shoot 3 point bombs. Great idea LHS way to make everyone hate going to the pep rallies. Shoulda let The Biggest LHR Fan go to splash town instead of making him play a boring game that 2nd graders could’ve came up with. 1/10 was not please

  5. alejandro on January 11th, 2019 11:37 am

    for the first time in my life. History class would’ve been better to be at than this pep rally. without the skits. what’s the point of having one.

  6. LHS Senior on January 11th, 2019 11:57 am

    As a senior experiencing the last three LHS pep rallies, it was absolutely terrible. The only bright moment was seeing Ms. Giguere receiving a standing ovation because she’s an amazing teacher and deserves all the respect and recognition of our school. Other than that, it was terrible. Watching the teams walk out to the ridiculous repetitive fight song and seeing game after game with no speeches, no skits, no music, no nothing. You could feel the lack of enthusiasm in the gym. Nobody clapped, nobody cared.

  7. Nick Pitarys on January 11th, 2019 12:26 pm

    This was the biggest let down of my academic career. On top of this, any senior where this was their last pep rally, oh boy does that leave a sour taste in their mouth. All i can say is congrats Londonderry you did it on yourself, you left many students with a bad last experience. Those seniors aren’t going to remember the good times they will remember how they weren’t able to have fun at their last pep rally and thats going to make them not talk highly of the school. The administration played themselves. #LHR

  8. Patrick Cohen on January 11th, 2019 12:44 pm

    This pep rally was the biggest disappointment of my high school career. I love the sport of hockey and that includes the people in the sport most of all. Do you know how sick and disgusted I was when I saw that we weren’t going to be permitted to dance? Because of one kid’s actions? Because our school decides to take the easy way out. Instead of working with the teams and coordinating our skits with the aids to make sure we had responsible and respectful skit. They decided to get rid of them and replace it with wiggle balls and hockey pucks. I hope that we can be given back the privilege to express our love for our sports and our school. Because my favorite memories as an LHR member isn’t the long bus rides to games in Hanover but the dances, skits and reactions from the crowd. And you stole that from me. And you wonder why the first four rows of the senior section was empty. Oh and congrats to Hans and Lexi, truly happy for you two. Plus Kelly Giguere, I never had you but you were the only person who brought me to feet, thank you.

  9. Janice Connor on January 11th, 2019 3:05 pm

    I can understand why everyone was disappointed that they weren’t able to do their skits as they entered the pep rally floor, but COME ON. You guys are acting like someone stole your wallet and then ran over your puppy. Just stop. If you thought today’s pep rally was “boring,” you can’t go around blaming just the people who organize the pep rally. What makes a pep rally fun and spirited isn’t what people provide FOR you, but what students bring to it. The Mack Plaque pep rally is always exciting and spirited and this year it was lifeless and there WERE skits at that one. Didn’t matter. The low energy of any pep rally isn’t anyone’s fault but students. Seniors especially need to take the lead and be a good example for what school spirit looks like. Sure, it would have been nice to have skits at the pep rally, but Londonderry students can be so entitled thinking everyone owes them something. Make the best of whatever is given to you and bring the fun and energy with you. It shouldn’t matter about skits or no skits. Mr. Juster and the pep rally aides worked so hard to make sure a pep rally happened at all. Stop hounding them. Stop complaining. Be a Lancer not a whiner.

  10. Cooper Bartlett on January 11th, 2019 4:21 pm

    I would have rather gotten my wallet stolen than showing up at the pep rally. Making a pep rally fun is kind of hard when you have the games like today. The students DID make it fun with what they were ALLOWED to do. But the student involvement isn’t the problem. What made the pep rally so poor was the constant fill in games. The skits are the main event itself without the pep rally. You get to see such different people come together on a team and create something great for the whole school to have a laugh at. But today just felt like a drag of boring and easy games. I understand that the pep rally team works hard, but if we are going to be honest, half the school was probably on their phones during the whole thing. The best part had to be the nice prom proposal, because other than that I was not paying attention. The pep rally tradition will die out when the students cannot even express themselves in the only way I have seen the pep rally being entertaining. The students themselves are trying to save it. We shouldn’t have to be fighting to have fun at a pep rally. Today I had more fun playing Madden Mobile in the bleachers than actually watching. If there are more pep rally’s like this, I do not want to be involved.

  11. Lhs student on January 11th, 2019 7:31 pm

    Really ruined the pep rallies for everyone. With ridiculous games that had no relation to the sport. Teams had no energy walking through the banner into the gym. Ruined pep rallies. I would have rathered been in class

  12. Anonymous on January 11th, 2019 10:06 pm

    i want to express my disgust for the student body anonymously, i understand the disappointment and all of the opinions about today’s pep rally, but i’ve heard people bash the aides and blame them. the blame for this belongs to all of the people who push the boundaries a little too far and expect to get away with it.

  13. Abigail Whitcomb on January 15th, 2019 4:04 pm

    As a alumnus, I was not there to witness how boring the pep rally may or may not have been, but I am super proud of your article! This is the “fourth estate” of LHS at it’s best. This article is up there with the 13 Reasons Why articles. Amazing job, Chief Iaconis!

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