MHS rallies have always been made to raise school spirit and recognize notable students, either through awards or showcasing their talents. However, a noticeable pattern is always seen at rallies that are ever growing with the declining school spirit.
People, especially those sitting in the back of the bleachers, are almost always on their phones the entire time, not caring at all about the rally. This is the opposite effect that rallies are intended to evoke. The disparity in those participating or even paying attention at all is evident in the numerous faces looking down at smart phones and the near absent applause or cheers, seen most prominently at the most recent rally. People tend not to pay attention at all to the events, games, and awards, but their lack of caring is not entirely their fault. Several inherent problems result in this widespread apathy towards rallies.
Before I delve further into this subject matter, I want to make clear that I am not criticizing the abilities of ASB to organize and conduct a rally. This is simply to acknowledge the persistent problem during rallies and offer solutions as to how to alleviate the growing problem.
Firstly, the sound equipment in use for rallies seems to not cover all of the gyms or undergo spouts of subpar quality, resulting in students being unable to hear a single word the MC’s are saying, especially when a song or video is playing in the background. Songs and videos also suffer a similar fate, being almost inaudible due to the sound equipment. It doesn’t help that most of the crowd is also talking about what is supposed to be heard, further perpetuating the problem by making it harder for others to hear and actually pay attention. Why should someone listen at all if they can’t even hear, much less understand?
Another problem is the limited time frame ASB has to work with to conduct two rallies. More often than not, rallies extend into either the next rally or in the case of the end of the year rallies, into the break period. The many events that must occur in the rally often do not have the time they deserve and this leaves students puzzled as to what was presented. After repeated instances of this occurring, students are far more inclined to not even pay attention at all.
However, ASB has to be given credit for addressing this apathy. Recent rallies included games that had the crowd participate and not just the front areas. Having more of these activities in future rallies would no doubt increase the participation if the games remain fresh and novel. More incentive to participate in the games or even just cheer on classmates could also boost.
A more extreme method to address the issue would be to make rallies themselves optional to attend. If the majority of the school is already not going to attempt to build school spirit, why bother making them go? Rallies have little educational value and mandating participation for an event that is ignored by a majority of the school is suboptimal to raise spirit and pride. Sure, there are always those who are zealous regarding school spirit, always screaming, dressing up, and doing anything possible to support their class, but they are a minority.
So when the next rally occurs next year, try not to further the problem of apathy for rallies. Though it isn’t entirely a person’s fault for not paying attention, we definitely don’t want to create a culture of ignoring rallies altogether; they do serve an actually important purpose, albeit to a niche crowd in the school.