Jesse Steele ’15
Afternoons of 10 degree weather don’t usually call for outdoor activities, but it seems Gordon students were ready to brave the harsh conditions. Residents of every dorm came out, bundled in every layer possible, to support the winter and spring sports at The Pit’s first outdoor pep rally.
The Pit was inspired after seeing the amount of students that came out to watch the field hockey team marched across campus, carrying their championship trophy. They thought a similar event could help to keep the spirit alive, but to pull off anything in such little time The Pit needed help.
Most events have one group in charge, but the pep rally was a combined effort of departments across campus. With Mechelle Brown, Highland Club assistant, handling many of the logistic the rest of the work was dispersed: GCSA and the Pit gathered all the supplies, Campus Communications helped to print signs, and Athletics organized all of their teams to come out.
On the day of the pep rally athletes gathered in the lobby of Frost as student leaders set up the bonfire and hot chocolate. Before sending out the teams Associate Vice President of Student Life Jennifer Jukanovich, ‘94, reflected on the power of traditions on a college campus and how she wished there were more during her time as a student at Gordon.
As Representative at Large Maria Constantine, ‘14, filled cups with hot chocolate she empathized with Jukanovich, but when the athletes filed outside to the sound of students cheering Constantine could see that students were ready to start something new.
“People get excited about their campus and get invested when they know the things their campus does,” she said. “We should celebrate how awesome we are and all the great things we do.”
Even though the ground was covered in snow students like Anna Hadorn, ‘16, were warmed by the pep rally’s excited atmosphere. One reason the event was interesting to students, besides the choice to be outside in such weather, was because of the location.
Hadorn gathered with the rest of Drew hall and marched to the Frost loop to meet the other dorms in a pre-rally spirit competition to build up the mood. “It was cool to be in a place that isn’t specific to any group,” Hadorn said, “the gym isn’t a place many people go.”
Seeing the student body brave the cold gave athletes a buzz of energy for their season. Swimmer Paige Hammaker, ‘17, recognized that any nerves she had coming into college were gone thanks to the encouragement.
Hammaker was not the only one to recognize the effect teams can. Before coming to Gordon Jukanovich worked with her church in Seattle to set up a fitness center for the community. She was able to see the effect of sports first hand as the huge class divides that were present began to disappear all because of the unity the teams started to build.
“I do think sports unifies in a very unique way,” Jukanovich said, “we may argue, we may disagree on things, but we are united through teams.”
That unity doesn’t stay within teams; it can branch to the rest of campus. “Sports have that uniting power,” said Constantine, “that person you’ve never met before suddenly becomes your best friend as you cheer together for the same team.”
To help with increasing school spirit The Pit has come up with new cheers for games, including a rendition of LMFAO’s song Shots, substituting the word shots for Scotts. Along with that The Pit is also planning how their future pep rallies can include the fall sports.
“This may be our first rally,” said Constantine, “but it certainly won’t be our last.”