Leadership Fails to Rally Interest

Marko Durovic, Staff Writer

This year’s pep rallies staggered out of the gate, and never found their stride.

The activity choices have been questionable, technical difficulties have occurred on multiple occasions, and after the homecoming rally debacle leadership adviser Dino Petrocco had to send out emails of apology to the campus staff.

I think this has been the result of poor preparation on Leadership’s part, as well as the apparent confusion on the part of the spirit commissioners themselves.

Some leadership members actually agree with me. “As a class we need to do a better job at preparing for rallies,” said Leadership’s Troy Westernoff.

Petrocco also acknowledges there have been problems with the rallies, but believes the responsibility for their shortcomings can not be attributed to any one person or group. “I would agree that they have not been to par and I don’t blame it entirely on the spirit commissioners. There are probably a couple of factors. One, I think that we have had some glitches and technical difficulties, two, we tried to do some things this year that in retrospect we shouldn’t have, for instance, we probably shouldn’t have trusted high school students to keep everything clean and that certainly falls onto my shoulders,” he said.

The weak rallies have also fostered poor behavior on the part of the audiences.  Petrocco calls it a “degradation of behavior at rallies.”

“Biezad and Petrocco have had to go in the crowd and escort kids out at every single rally,” said spirit commissioner Griffin Bell. “We have to be very careful not to provoke (unwanted) crowd reactions.”

In my opinion, if rallies offered more engaging content, they would hold students’ attention. Students go into the gym expecting to have fun and be entertained. When their expectations are not met they entertain themselves with disruptive behavior.

If the individual spirit commissioners are not responsible for the success, or failure, of these student body gatherings, then who is?

Petrocco explained Leadership’s role in preparing for these events. “The spirit commissioners come up with concepts, they come up with a theme for the video, and they’ll pitch all of it to the class as a whole and the class as a whole will give them feedback,” he said.

“Obviously everything they want to do has to be cleared through me, and all I can really hope is that they are funny, and I try to give them some guidance and hope they listen to it,” Petrocco explained.

“I find that our best rallies have some common denominators. One, there was a lot of time put into it, and then also when the rally doesn’t revolve around a particular individual or group. I hate inside jokes, and that to me is not what the rally is supposed to be about. The rally is supposed to be about bringing us all together as a school,” said Petrocco.

The real problem, according to Petrocco, is that Leadership students are busy with school work and this impacts their effectiveness in planning a quality event.  

If the issue really is that Leadership officers are burdened with too much homework to be effective in their positions, they should consider whether or not they should be in that position to begin with.  Leadership should do a better job of articulating expectations before students run for office, and then hold them accountable for their performance in their respective positions.

Just like in the real world, our elected campus officials should be subject to a recall.  If they are unable to provide competent and effective leadership, including producing appropriate and engaging rallies, they should be replaced with those who can.

I’m talking to you, Leadership officers for 2014-2015.