Pep Rallies: Should They Make a Comeback This Year?

Students often compete in games during pep rallies. Pictured here is current student body president Joanna Louis-Ugbo

Photo courtesy of Chamblee High School Facebook

Students often compete in games during pep rallies. Pictured here is current student body president Joanna Louis-Ugbo

Luiza Douglas, Staff Writer

Pep rallies are a part of typical high school memories, seen in cult classic movies like “Heathers.” Here at Chamblee, they have been a key part of the Student Government Association’s (SGA) school spirit efforts.

“I like pep rallies because they are very fun and cheerful. Everyone is playing music and we’re all dancing. Also, I can feel the vibrations in the [stands] and it makes me feel cool,” said Nadia Cho (‘24).

Pep rallies often cut school short, an admirable quality for the average student.

“I like pep rallies because they let us skip sixth and seventh period,” said Turjoy Paul (‘22).

However, this year there have been no pep rallies. One of the main drawbacks continues to be COVID-19.

“It would be unwise to have it during a pandemic,” said Alex Burrita (‘24).

The enclosed space in the gym seems to be the source of the COVID-19 anxiety.

“I don’t really feel comfortable with COVID and pep rallies. Before it was fun but now it’s such an enclosed and crowded space. Not everyone wears their masks. Teachers aren’t paying attention at that moment. […] I don’t think we should have them going on now just because there are already kids who don’t wear their mask over their nose [during normal school],” said Samantha Canela (‘22).

Social distancing isn’t a likely possibility in pep rallies with Chamblee’s current student body of just less than 2,000 students.

“I am absolutely not comfortable with pep rallies in COVID, it’s all too crowded. There’s way too many people shouting and screaming and being way too close to one another,” said Rachel Victorian (‘24).

Though, is there a way to have pep rallies during the pandemic and keep everyone comfortable in a safe and controlled manner?

“If it were outside I would feel comfortable with a pep rally but inside the gym absolutely not. I feel we need a bit more time [before having another pep rally],” said Ethan Weiss (‘24).

Along with the long forgotten, social distancing.

“In order to have one during COVID, it would have to be distanced properly,” said Anna Chamnanphong (‘24).

But the question has to be asked, how does the crowd factor of pep rallies compare to the lunches indoors in the cafeteria?

“When you think about it, we have lunch in the cafeteria, so it wouldn’t bother me anymore if we had a pep rally,” said Keturah Talbert (‘24).

Concerns about the virus during pep rallies can be comparable to indoor sports like basketball and volleyball, which draw in crowds to the gym.

“If everybody kept their mask on, it would be fine but we’ve already had football games in which no one wears masks too so if we did [have a] pep rally, it wouldn’t matter COVID-wise,” said Hannah Lin (‘24).

Even with the drawbacks, many students still wish for pep rallies to come back.

“They are fun and loud and I get to sit with my friends,” said Talbert.

Pep rallies bring lots of hype for the school that several students look forward to.

Irvin Wardlow performs on his unicycle at a pep rally (Photo courtesy of Chamblee High School Facebook)

“I love watching the cheerleaders and their stunts. They hype everyone up during spirit week,” said Canela.

With the pandemic putting a halt to the school spirit event, students look back on past pep rallies.

“For me, pep rallies are really fun, sitting with your friends, […] talking and giggling. Just having fun and playing games,” said said Asia Prejean (‘25) who attended Chamblee Middle School pep rallies.

As more and more students miss pep rallies, discussions of their possible return continue.

“They really brought the school together and it was an overall fun event,” said Imani Adenuga (‘24). “I want there to be […] more pep rallies.”