Spirit Week should include Night Rally to bolster student participation, morale

The exceptionally competitive atmosphere at Palo Alto High School and Henry M. Gunn High School during Spirit Week is one notable aspect of our district that differentiates our schools from most other campuses across the nation. Spirit Week, or Homecoming Week at Gunn, is a big deal in Palo Alto; during the week, both students and faculty teem with anticipation and prepare themselves for a healthy dose of competition. However, Paly is lacking an essential element of Spirit Week that has become a staple at Gunn: a night rally.

While Paly’s spirit dances and float exhibitions during the Friday afterschool rally are some of the most anticipated events during Spirit Week, the build-up for these events is nothing compared to that of Gunn’s students for their annual Night Rally. At Gunn, the Night Rally features about 80 students from each grade in a student-choreographed dance performance, allowing a considerably larger amount of students to participate and create a captivating scene. To end Spirit Week on a more engaging and exhilaratingnote, Paly should host a Night Rally in the Big Gym on the second to last night of Spirit Week.

Like Gunn’s Night Rally, Paly’s would preferably feature a large-scale dance performance by each of the four classes. As a total of 240 students – compared to the meager 40 students currently at Paly – would have the chance to participate in the performances, the Night Rally dances would allow a larger percentage of the student body to act as leaders. Having a more outstanding number of students actively participate would create a more unified spirit. An extra Spirit Week event would strengthen unity among students.

Due to the nature of the rules for Spirit Dance, only a small amount of students are allowed to actively participate in the afterschool rally. However, amassing 80 students together would allow students from different social groups to work together in an active and unifying environment – a communion of sorts among students through dancing. Through large rehearsals and impressive results, a Night Rally would become the most exciting and unforgettable component of Spirit Week, as well as a grade-wide bonding experience.

To implement such an event in a very tradition-based week would require a substantial amount of work on the part of both ASB and each individual class. Considering the complexity and work required to organize a school event at night, along with the fact that Paly has never hosted such an event in the past, potentially makes the logistics for the implementation of a Night Rally difficult. Fruthermore, asking each grade to choreograph a cohesive dance will require much work outside of school.

Despite the obvious obstacles involved in developing a Paly Night Rally, along with executing the rally every year, The Campanile believes that this addition to Spirit Week will add to the excitement and success of the week. As a night rally would promote spirit within each class, as well as throughout the entire school, ASB should work toward integrating this event into the list of Spirit Week activities.