Rally Day Officially Cancelled

By Erin Hoynes

Due to a variety of hazardous incidents that accompanied the 2012 event, Berkeley High School’s Rally Day in 2013 has been cancelled.

According to Pasquale Scuderi, BHS Principal, the idea of having another rally is now “off the table” in the wake of problems such as fights and public intoxication that plagued event earlier this school year.

“The current thinking of the administrative team and the teacher leadership team is that, given this year’s event, what will happen next year is going to be something very different,” said Scuderi.

The costs of the rally seem to have outweighed the benefits for Scuderi, and he can no longer make Rally Day a priority. During the weeks before the rally each year, a few staff members have to devote themselves fully to planning the rally, which Scuderi believes takes them offline for other administrative purposes. “Are the outcomes of Rally Day something worth the investment that they’re currently relying on?” asked Scuderi.

The teacher leadership team has had substantial input in the decision. Matt Carton, English teacher and co–lead teacher for Academic Choice, was one of many staff to sign a letter to the administration expressing their complaints about this year’s Rally. Carton described the event as “unbelievably bacchanalian and narcissistic.”

John Villavicencio, BHS director of student activities, said that “losing this event is extremely disappointing.”

Villavicencio hopes that BHS students will find alternative ways to express school spirit in order to avoid the consequences that got next fall’s rally shut down.

“Let’s find ways to revive the high school soul of this campus,” said Villavicencio.

According to Villavicencio, leadership students did speak to the administration about ways to reinvent Rally Day specifically, as well as Spirit Week as a whole. Although the traditional rally has now been cancelled, Scuderi said he likes “the idea of a Rally Day in concept,” and added that “there’s a possibility to get some student perspective.”

The main question being asked of the administration now is how the rest of Spirit Week is going to look. Some staff suggest that although the rally is cancelled, the other spirit days can be salvaged and dispersed throughout the school year.

“I recognize that this [event] is important to students,” Scuderi said, “[but] at the end of the day, the administrative team will make a final decision.”

The administration will take more time to figure out the details of what Spirit Week will look like next fall.