Xavier rallies spark excitement

For the last part of the Lights Out Rally, some of the teachers do a dance before announcing the winners of the Lights Out Rally screaming contest. The teachers danced to Michael Jackson’s hit, “Thriller.”

MJ Martinez, XPress Staff

For the last part of the Lights Out Rally, some of the teachers do a dance before announcing the winners of the Lights Out Rally screaming contest. The teachers danced to Michael Jackson’s hit, “Thriller.”

Jane Burkhardt, Staff Writer

As the seasons cycle through, most students at Xavier look forward to things like homecoming, sweans, AJ’s and Fridays, but if there’s one thing that gets the entire student body in an energetic mood, it’s the highly anticipated rallies. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to these spirit-filled gatherings in the Activity Center, Xavier’s executive board and moderators take them very seriously.

Xavier has been known to celebrate excellent traditions and is consistently improving upon the previous rally to maintain that. But don’t be mistaken, this is no easy task. Everything is planned out carefully; from the theme to the video, senior Anna Pisoni, head of activities for the Executive Board, has got it covered. 

“It’s a lot of work,” Pisoni says. “We have to have the video done two weeks in advance and work with the tech people to be sure the music sounds good and the video runs properly.” 

Pisoni is also in charge of deciding on a theme for the rallies and assigning a different one to each class, acknowledging the importance of making them as fair as possible and not giving a class the upper hand.  

One of the key components of the rally planning process is, of course, the judging. The judges are teachers randomly selected from different departments across Xavier to broadly represent the student body. 

Those who have attended Xavier rallies can agree the most suspenseful moment occurs when the judges huddle in the middle of the gym to arrive at a decision. Based on creativity, sportsmanship, class officer performances and loudness, this decision is the class winner of a rally. 

Each class goes in hungry for this title, and it quickly becomes the main topic of discussion in the hallways. What no one expected, however, was for the freshman to win the biggest rally of the year: the Lights-out Rally. 

President of Executive Board Katie Carlson acknowledges this as an opportunity for the other classes to “look forward to competing with the freshman.” 

“Our freshmen this year were really excited about it, which I loved because they spent a lot of time practicing together at lunch despite not having an elected student council,” said Carlson. 

Lights-out Rally judge and Spanish teacher Peggy Sue Clay further builds upon this saying, “There is something about the frosh class. They have a lot of school spirit, and there was lots of participation in the dress-up days and the lunch events.” 

Not only are the rallies effective in inducing competitiveness for Xavier students, but they also serve as a source of individuality in a sea of plaid. 

“It allows the girls to let loose and show their personalities and talents in a different way,” Clay says. “Sometimes with being all in the same uniform, maintaining great behavior and focusing on academics, the rallies are an opportunity to show a different side of themselves.” 

Carlson also recognizes essential aspects of the rally most students forget, saying “Most think it’s all about the student council dance, but that’s only a quarter of it.” Carlson says the key to success is being creative and cheering for all the classes. 

“Think outside the box and be creative, do something that requires effort and give 100 percent whether you’re on the floor or in the stands,” Clay says.  

She encourages the classes to incorporate pop culture and current trends into their decorations and dances, saying, “It can be done by choosing a song that takes the teachers back to their college days.” Clay also emphasizes that it’s the small aspects of a dance that make it spectacular, saying,“It’s the little details that go a long way, so when you have a group of girls performing a dance and they focus on every detail, it makes their dance that much more impressive.” 

Not only are the rallies known for their bright colors and fun dances, but they are a great way to make memories and build relationships with fellow peers. 

Both Pisoni’s and Carlson’s favorite memories from the rallies were watching them from the yoga room, which looks down on the gym, with the other Executive Board students before making a grand entrance. 

“At the Lights-out Rally, seeing the hacker come on the screen in the video, combined with everyone screaming and the lights turning off, was really cool to see through the doors before entering the gym,” says Pisoni. 

“No other school I have known does something like this. It’s a very unique experience that exists only at Xavier,” Clay says. “Everything Xavier does is not just an event, it’s a Broadway production.”