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d.tech’s First Student Run Rally

Sofia Almeida, Andrew Nourie, and Hezekiah Smithstein | September 5, 2018

The first d.tech rally began at 9:00 on the dot on Wednesday. It was student lead, seniors Riana Patel, Agathe Vasseur and Alexandra Chapralis (Lexi) planned the entire thing a week before with Student Culture Coordinator, Henry Lonneman helping to set up. Lonneman said he wanted to be student lead because he wanted to “empower students to engage in something.” He also said he wanted student lead panels about topics such as health in the future.

The events at the rally consisted of chanting, the girl’s volleyball team rapping, Juniors Kazi Hussaini and Griffin Trumpler having a rap battle with compliments, and a dance off between multiple students and teachers. Surprisingly, there were no announcements made by the faculty, even when the students who were running it asked if the teachers had any announcements to make at the very end of the rally.

In the first event, Patel, Vasseur, and Chapralis tried many times to get students to chant, even calling up two sophomores, Dahlia Flores and Sammy Abouata, to try and get school spirit going. The @d.techs were meant to create their own chants, but the planning committee did not have enough time to contact the @d.techs to tell them to create chants. Without planned chants there was chanting, but it was not prolonged. According to Patel, the reason they were so disorganized was because they only had a week to plan. She also stated “Some things did not go as planned so we kinda improvised.”

Event organizers Agathe Vasseur, Lexi Chapralis, and Riana Patel. Photo by Asa Bensaid

Following the chants came a junior spirit demonstration consisting of Hussaini and Trumpler having a battle of “put ups”. An activity they said they had learned last year on their overnight field trip with the Mosaic project. They passed the microphone back and forth and complemented one another as if it were a rap battle. According to Trumpler they were told about participating in the rally only 2-3 days before it happened.

Griffin Trumpler and Kazi Husseini walk up to begin their “pick up” battle. Photo by Quincy Stamper

After thirteen awkward minutes, a multi person dance battle kicked off featuring Social studies teacher Ken Klieman. Klieman began with a elegant, twirling routine that he had prepared for with his daughter the night before. The students, not to be outdone, followed with a performance by Grant Shedd, also known as “G-cat”. Then it was then math teacher Matthew Cooley’s turn to be the star of the show, with a performance to “Starman” by David Bowie, in which he did many starfish-like jumps.

Mr. Cooley, mid-move. Photo by Asa Bensaid

But it was the students who stole the show, led by Amu Rozmus, who quickly brought up a group of fellow freshman to share the stage and dance to the song “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar. Rozmus was asked earlier in the week to perform at the rally to “get the school spirit going.” Rozmus also added “I’m awful at dancing, but I’m an outgoing person and I think it’s important to do things that you are not always comfortable doing.” Organizer Lexi Chapralis had originally been concerned about potential lack of freshman involvement in the rally due to nervousness, but was impressed by their willingness to actively participate.

Amu Rozmus hypes up the crowd. Photo by Asa Bensaid

However, as the dance battle was ending and the teachers were asked whether they had any announcements, chants of “Siegman” and “Jacob“ could be heard from the crowd. The result? A bonus round of English and Model UN teacher as well as internship coordinator Rachel Siegman facing off against senior Jacob Floro. As they went up to shake hands Floro quickly shot his hand away from Siegman into a dab. This set the scene for a dance battle of the ages.

The battle was hard fought, but Floro was quickly running out of dance moves. Siegman was an experienced dancer, but Floro only knew the whip, the nae nae and fortnite default dance. However, he still had one trick up his sleeve. Floro started quickly changed his strategy from using dance moves to quoting popular anime such as Naruto, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Yu-Gi-Oh. Floro on commented this sudden change in attack, stating “I only knew the whip and nae nae so after that I had to do Yu-gi-oh attacks.”

As the final dance came to an end, Vasseur took the two to the center and asked for a vote on who won. Although many cheered when Siegman’s name was proposed as the winner, Floro quickly disbanded this notion by taking the mic and pronouncing himself the winner.

Despite a somewhat slow start, the first rally helps pave the way for more student lead events in the future. Future rally’s have the potential to give students a voice, and help students feel more empathetic to each other. Lonneman says, “The more we understand each other the safer we’ll feel.” Vasseur agreed that this rally was a good starting point, saying: “It was a great prototype. It maybe wasn’t what everyone was looking for, but was good to set up the next one.”

As for the next one, Vasseur says that the spirit comittes plans for the future include a staff vs. student rally, which is set to happen in October. d.tech will continue to bring the rallies, and the future will tell if d.tech students will bring the hype.

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