Limited capacity of TPHS pep rallies must be addressed

Pep rallies are an essential part of a student’s high school career. They are an opportunity to show and promote school spirit. Unfortunately, not every TPHS student gets to enjoy this quintessential event because of the limited capacity in the school gym and the “first come, first serve” registration process currently in use.

Last year, many students missed out on Color Wars, the most popular and energetic pep rally at TPHS. This was the last pep rally of the year, and many students left their classes to attend it without permission.

ASB supervisor Jennifer Ryan currently has the task of accommodating as many classes as possible for pep rallies. Ryan sends out an email, containing a class sign-up sheet, to all teachers. However, teachers are unaware when this email will be sent out. Those who happen to see the email first can sign their classes up for the pep rallies, but those who do not unfortunately make it so their students miss out on the fun. Angry students then misdirect the blame on their teachers, who simply missed an unscheduled email.

By setting a specific time for emails to be sent, ASB will allow teachers to check their email and sign their class up in a timely manner.

Currently, the sign-up emails are often sent to teachers during their class time, causing disruptions in their teaching. Having a pre-determined time for the emails to be sent out will allow teachers to ask their students if they want to attend the pep rally ahead of time, without any disruption of class.

But, establishing a time for emails to be sent out will not fix the root issue behind why so many students are missing out on pep rallies. Many pep rallies are held in the gymnasium, which only has a limited capacity that cannot house all the students in the school. Thus, even if a teacher is able to see the sign-up email, there is a good chance that the capacity for pep rallies in the gym will already have been reached, resulting in many classes not being able to attend.

Solutions to holding pep rallies in the gym with limited capacity have been attempted in the past. According to principal Robert Coppo, the school experimented with having two pep rallies in one day, allowing all students to attend. It was observed that the first pep rally was fun and engaging, but ASB was tired by the second, and it was evident that there was a clear lack of energy.

The best way to guarantee that all students will be able to participate in future pep rallies is to permanently have all of them in the Ed Burke stadium, which is able to accommodate the whole school. Although certain students may not want to attend a pep rally, it is critical that everyone still gets the opportunity to. Teachers can choose to keep their kids in class or go to the pep rally, but not even having the option to make that decision because of capacity limitations needs to change.

However, as seen with the Fall Sports Pep Rally on Oct. 27, pep rallies held in the stadium often have substantially less energy than those held in the gym. There was a significant decrease in student enthusiasm from the Homecoming pep rally held in the gym earlier this year to the Fall Sports Pep Rally held in the stadium.

According to Coppo, the staff at TPHS have no intention of making a permanent change to have all future pep rallies held in the stadium. For the rest of this school year, the administration plans to continue having pep rallies in the gym, and to only hold them in the stadium when the agenda for the specific pep rally requires it.

Over the years, students have repeatedly expressed their concerns about missing pep rallies to TPHS staff, but their requests still have yet to be heard.

Sacrifices in energy levels must be made if TPHS wants to accommodate as many students as possible for pep rallies. Pep rallies are an incredibly important aspect of the high school experience. They bring the school together, connect students who are not involved in sports or clubs to their school community and provide a quintessential yet valuable high school experience.

All students who want to participate in them should be able to do so.

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