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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame

My husband and I, both '01 alums, were on campus for the UNC game. We had with us some "newbie" friends, and we were very excited to show them what a football weekend at Notre Dame is all about. This included what I consider to be one of the best and most unique traditions of our beloved University: the pep rally. While Purcell Pavilion was packed with fans for the UNC pep rally, we were shocked and very disappointed to see only a handful of students in attendance. There was a huge, gaping space on the floor that would have been crammed with groups of students representing the various residence halls in my day (I say this even at the risk of sounding old). It did not look good. It certainly did not look like a student body that zealously supports its football team currently ranked in the top 10 in the country. Now, I understand that the pep rallies might not be the coolest thing in the world, especially for upperclassmen for whom the novelty has worn off. They can definitely border on cheesy at times. But why pass up an opportunity to support your football team and participate in a decades-old tradition at the greatest University in the world? You only get four glorious years in the Notre Dame bubble. I have great memories of walking over to the pep rallies with my fellow McGlinn girls, dressed in togas and doing whatever we could to draw attention to ourselves. It was always a great start to our Friday night! The pep rally is such an integral part of the Notre Dame fan experience, and it's sad to see it slowly disappearing. I can only hope that the team's recent successes on the field will lead to a revival of sorts and bring the students back to where they belong.


Kelli Wilson Maio

class of 2001

Oct. 2

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.