Pep Club! An Underrepresented Club Boosts School Spirit and School Morale

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Pep Club! An Underrepresented Club Boosts School Spirit and School Morale

Pep Club members Tessa Croft (left) and Clara Larsen (right) help cheer on the Rams at a football game earlier this year.

Pep Club members Tessa Croft (left) and Clara Larsen (right) help cheer on the Rams at a football game earlier this year.

Alpha Lambert

Pep Club members Tessa Croft (left) and Clara Larsen (right) help cheer on the Rams at a football game earlier this year.

Alpha Lambert

Alpha Lambert

Pep Club members Tessa Croft (left) and Clara Larsen (right) help cheer on the Rams at a football game earlier this year.

Sophie Bauer, Staff Writer

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Highland High is a school with as wide and varied a choice in extracurricular activities that one could ever imagine: From conspiracy clubs to sports team and everywhere in between, there’s a place for everyone at Highland. But one of these programs – one which gets slim amounts of attention despite its benefits for students — has slowly been disappearing. That activity is pep club.

What comes to mind when thinking of pep clubs are, of course, pep rallies: Big, school-wide events meant to boost school spirits. Highland doesn’t have these rallies often, but it isn’t a stranger to school spirit by any means. Spirit week, the spirit stick, and, of course, the spirit bowl are just some of the ways that we nurture our school spirit and celebrate our school throughout the year.

What’s lacking from these examples, however, is pep club.

Or, more accurately, the traditional activities that a pep club would perform in. The school’s lack of pep rallies limit the time that students are going to see pep club in any given setting.

In fact, most exposure to pep club comes from seeing them perform during Highland games. While they definitely do perform, those who don’t attend games or ditch assemblies likely aren’t going to be seeing much of pep club at all during their Highland tenure — whether pep club shrinks in size or not.

So the problem here, really, is underrepresentation. If the school allowed pep club more opportunities to shine by having more rallies or just overall showcasing them more on programs like HTVS, the Highland community would become tuned in to the fact that, yes, Highland’s pep club does exist.

And not only does it exist, it provides real opportunity for students who can’t meet the expectations of other sports or programs like Highland cheer.

“We do cheers and we do dances, every once in awhile for halftime shows, we do some service projects. If you can’t do flips, it’s a really good alternative to cheerleading.“ Says Highland student Rowan Clark, a Highland junior former pep club member.

Clark’s sentiment holds true: Not every student is going to be able to perform high-risk flips and full-out gymnastics routines, for a variety of potential reasons.

Pep club gives those students a way to support their school and their school’s teams without having to fulfill requirements like that. It’s also an extremely valuable club. After all, even if there aren’t as many rallies or appearances set up for them, pep club does try its hardest to boost school spirit where it can.

So maybe looking at where pep club went isn’t the best approach to take in doing this. Perhaps the best approach is how can Highland, as a school, better support pep club and the students who participate in it?

A good place to start would be letting the school see more of them. Highland needs to showcase their efforts, as one would hope that they showcased the efforts of everyone participating in a sport, club, or activity.

That’s not to say that Highland is biased towards any one club in particular, and it’s not saying that they do a bad job of representing the students in clubs. With so many clubs at Highland, and so many amazing talents behind them, it’s hard to consistently cover any one club without risking, to some degree, not showing another equally.

What it is saying, though, is that Highland, like everywhere else, has some room for improvement on the. Giving pep club a few more assemblies in front of a larger audience, like that of the spirit bowl, would be an easy way to get pep club out there and help them gain the recognition they deserve.

Promoting them on shows like HTVS would also help pep club earn members and gain community support. If students understood how cool it is that Highland has a club specifically for people who wish they could do sports like cheer but aren’t trained gymnasts, they would start to notice the club, and not just let it fade away into the phantom whisper of a club we used to have.

Because it is cool, that Highland has that. And it is, for many, many people, relatable. Sports are great, and should be supported, but for every kid who plays on a sports team or wears a cheer dress, there’s at least one other one who wishes they could be doing that. 

It’s a safe and fun alternative to the cheer squad that almost anyone can do, and it uplifts Highland.

“It’s got a lot of school spirit.” Says Clark.
And it’s the only Highland group, excepting perhaps spirit chair, that’s exclusively focused on school spirit.

That, truly, is what makes pep club so important for Highland. And now it’s time to offer the same support back, so that pep club gets the love that it, like every other Highland club and sport, deserves.  

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