Despite the drizzly weather and soggy grass, many gathered Saturday morning at the pre-game Homecoming Pep Rally featuring music, food and sprit-evoking speeches.
Business School junior Niraj Patel said that the pep rally got him “pumped up to see football and excited to be a Michigan Wolverine.”
“I want homecoming to be a big effect on the school spirit,” said Kristen Sarri, an LSA senior and co-director of the Student Alumni Council, which organized the event.
She said the Student Alumni Council has been in charge of the pep rally for the last three years, and planning for this year started at the conclusion of Homecoming last year. During this planning, the Council made continuous adjustments to what was implicated.
One major change this year was timing. Traditionally the pep rally is held the Friday evening before the homecoming game on the Diag. But it was moved to Saturday on Elbel Field before the game in hopes of increasing attendance.
But one council member said he was disappointed with the lower than expected attendance. “I’m a little disappointed with the school spirit.”
In hopes of invoking school spirit, the pep rally featured performances by the Women’s Cheer Club, the Rhythm Tap Ensemble, Superfans as well as the annual Gamma Phi Beta Chili Cook-off.
“It’s neat to have shows of student groups, and to see what different organizations do,” Engineering junior Carolyn Wineland said.
A number of fraternities and sororities participated in the Gamma Phi Beta Chili Cook-off. In a change from previous years, it was opened to non-Greek organizations as well. There was a $50 registration fee and only nachos and bread were provided. Each organization gathered their own ingredients and prepared the chili from their own recipe.
“I like how you get to sample different chilis from every house. It’s a good variety,” LSA senior Traci Buchalskik stated.
All profits traditionally go to charity, and this year’s benefited Campfire U.S.A., an organization that gives the opportunity for underprivileged children to go to camp.
Melissa Orban, an LSA senior and head of Gamma Phi Beta’s Chili Cook-off planning committee, said that they expected to make around $1,000.
“We’re having fun and helping kids at the same time,” said LSA junior Nick Ferreira, a member of Lambda Chi Alpha.