Administration cancels four pep rallies


Fiona Zheng

Rushil Umaretiya leads last year’s sophomores in their Homecoming roll call. The number of pep rallies was reduced this year due to COVID-19 limitations.

Harry Xiao, Alyson Granchi, and Asmitha Knoeru

Four of the five pep rallies planned throughout Jefferson’s 2021 Homecoming week were canceled due to safety concerns.

In August, there was hope for returning to normalcy by upholding Jefferson tradition in a pep rally everyday of homecoming. But with COVID being a constant pressure, the Jefferson staple has been reduced to a fifth of what it once was. Freshman Sai Rangi regards these cancelations as particularly tough given the hype surrounding the event from upperclassmen.

“It’s a bummer that there weren’t any pep rallies this year besides Friday. It would’ve been nice to have been able to just do more,” Rangi said.

The loss of such a traditional and community focused Homecoming event has been disappointing for many upperclassmen.

“Pep rallies are a huge part of school spirit because everyone goes and immediately becomes more involved. Not having that experience with everyone else really sucks,” senior Pesandi Gunasekera said.

For some, the homecoming spirit has been diminished since safety measures were put in place. 

“It’s kind of sad, because I feel like there’s less homecoming spirit this year. Just seeing people in the hallways, people have participated less in spirit days,” Gunasekera said. “One of the most fun parts of homecoming is going to lunch with your friends, and then cheering on your class. It’s really sad we didn’t get that this year.” 

As a result, certain students have needed to adjust their perspective on the event. Instead of a downgrade from previous years, Friday’s solo pep rally can be viewed as the preservation of tradition during a difficult time.

“I expect that the pep rally might still be good, as it is the only one we have this year; we might as well make it worthwhile. but also I think it might make people a little bit unenthusiastic.” Rangi said.

Due to safety precautions, the pep rally was outside on the stadium field rather than indoors in the gym. This gives the school a large space for students to cheer while still distancing from each other.

“The number of people in the stadiums are going to be reduced; we’re going to have half the school outside at any given pep rally,” SGA Secretary Vibhav Kuriti said. “Everyone will be wearing masks, and any items that require sharing have been banned.”

Even with these setbacks, popular events such as MEX were able to occur during the pep rally while still managing to abide by safety precautions. 

“With COVID challenges, we were down to one [rally], but were still able to showcase MEX. We still got the Homecoming football game. We still got to cheer on our team as they compete, despite the clear setbacks, and I think that shows something.” Kuriti said.