On Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, Andrews University Student Association (AUSA) held the first ever AU pep rally. Students gathered in the Johnson Gymnasium for a night of games, entertainment, and free food.
The night began with a presentation from the drum corp, which played a medley. Then the marching band performed several lively numbers. Next, each Andrews University sports team and team member got introduced, starting with the women’s and men’s soccer teams.
“My favorite part of the pep rally was standing with my team members after we had all entered,” said Julia Viniczay (sophomore, photography), a member of the women’s soccer team. “We were hype that none of us had fallen on the slippery floor and the music was hyping everything up.”
In between the introductions of the soccer teams and basketball teams, they had games for audience participation. They had penalty shot competitions, where audience members competed against the soccer team members. The winners received a cash prize. Afterwards, they held a half-court shot competition for the audience members to participate in.
“I was kind of upset that the actual team could not participate in the things like the half-court shot contest, but all the soccer players got to participate in the games they had available,” said Lauryn Gray, women’s basketball team member (freshman, chemistry).
After the audience games, they introduced the basketball teams, once again beginning with the women’s and continuing to the men’s team.
“I think they need to also add and include the coaches. They are the masterminds behind the team and I think they deserve recognition as well because we'd be nothing without our coaches,” added Gray. “They should be introduced and recognized, maybe even do something special for them to show we appreciate them and their time.”
Afterwards, they even held a cheerleading competition, where audience members would gather a small group and compete against other audience members. The best group received a cash prize.
TJ Hunter (sophomore, computer science) said, “I think if you’re going to keep doing this, there are a lot of things that need to change. For example, there needs to be more entertainment, fewer awkward pauses, more engaging activities and more promotion for the event.”
It is unknown whether or not this will become an annual event, but several students expressed their approval of the event.
“I think it’s a good idea to keep trying with the pep rally because it’s a way to bring the teams and the rest of the school together,” Gray said. “(It) makes us feel supported.”