Pep assemblies are traditional among high schools for their ability to promote school spirit and support school related events or teams.
While students enjoy and sometimes criticize the pep assemblies that they are subject to, they often do not consider the planning and effort that goes into creating a assembly. Rockhurst pep assemblies are produced solely through the effort and creativity of students.
The creators of the assemblies are composed mainly of Spirit Club members and SGA personnel. The time allotted for the creation process has varied for each assembly, ranging from months to a single week.
“The standard amount of time for a decent pep rally is three weeks. These three weeks are non-stop work, trying to come up with an idea and refining it as much as possible,” said Andrew Mohajir, senior and chair of the Spirit Club.
“The main problem with our first pep rally was that we allotted about a week to organize and refine. It ended up that we had no practice time, and therefore we were not able to put on a successful rally,” Mohajir said.
Mohajir has stated that the planning of pep assemblies is divided into three distinctive parts: brainstorming, writing of the script, and practicing.
“Brainstorming is usually the most hectic. During this period we want as many ideas pitched as possible so that we can find the best one,” Mohajir said.
Senior Jack Allison and fellow chair of the Spirit Club described the first stage in more detail. “The process starts out as a bunch of guys sitting around in the SGA room spitballing ideas, and eventually we find one we like and roll with it,” Allison said.
Meetings for the assemblies are numerous and can span many weeks. “We meet as often as we can – either during activity period, second half of lunch, or flex time. If we are behind schedule, we meet after school for an hour,” Mohajir said.
“The meetings during lunch are largely unproductive. There is usually one person standing in the front of the room trying to direct conversation to specific parts of the pep rally. Even though everyone is trying to help, we often go off on tangents that are unrealistic to the pep rally itself. But I will say those tangents are where we obtain most of our jokes,” Mohajir said.
Once the idea has been established, the assembly planners begin to focus their attention on writing the script for the assembly. “This is part where we (try to) come up with jokes and the specific order of the pep rally,” Joseph Knopke said.
In producing pep assemblies, the creators focus on content that is both entertaining and informative. “We’re looking to entertain the majority of students. There has to be a balance of high energy and jokes so there is no dull gaps where nothing is happening. The goal of the pep assembly is obviously to create “pep” so we want to include physical activity for energy, jokes about Rockhurst, and promotions for Rockhurst events,” Knopke said.
The creators of the assemblies feel that all of the time and effort that they put into this is wholeheartedly worth it. They work so hard because they want students to feel excited for the assemblies and benefit from them. “We want students to look forward to the assemblies all the time,” Allison said.