Students opt out of rallies: “It’s incoherent screaming”
On January 25, 2019, more than one hundred students chose to remain in their classrooms and the library instead of attending the Winter Whiteout rally. According to teachers, the number of students who have chosen not to participate in the rallies has steadily grown from approximately 20 students to over 100 students.
For many students, rallies present an opportunity to spend time with friends and enjoy competitions between classes, but others feel that the hectic nature of the games can be overwhelming.
“The entire experience gives me anxiety,” a student, who requested to remain anonymous due to the personal nature of the discussion, said. “I had a panic attack at a rally last year, so I don’t go to them.”
For some students, the constant noise and clamor of rallies are some of the biggest factors in driving students to seek a quiet and calm place to spend their time.
“I don’t like rallies mostly because it’s incoherent screaming,” junior Alanna Kelleher said. “At the end, I have this ringing noise in my ears and it’s hard to hear for the rest of the day.”
One of the most critical complaints students have voiced regarding the rallies is the apparent lack of diversity, both in the competitions and the competitors themselves. English and Philosophy teacher Wesley Swedlow asked students about their reasons for avoiding the rallies, and noted that many of the responses had similar themes.
“The rallies, for a lot of the students, are the same over and over again,” Swedlow said. “It’s not representative of the general student population. It’s the same people rally after rally, and to some students it seems like the popular kids are running the rallies according to their own interests.”