Organized by the College Events Board and the First-Year Social Committee, the Harvard-Yale pep rally was originally scheduled to take place in front of the John Harvard statue, but was moved to the Queen’s Head Pub as a result of the wet weather.
Though scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m., the “Let’s go Harvard!” chants did not start until after 10 p.m. As students filled the pub, members of the College Events Board passed out foam fingers and “Go Crimson” headbands to the fans.
Seven students decked out in Harvard attire took the stage to compete for the title of “Most Spirited Fan.”
The aspiring fans were first asked Harvard-related questions by Dean of Freshmen Thomas A. Dingman ’67—who was sporting out a “Go Crimson” headband—and mathematics professor Benedict H. Gross ’71, the former dean of the College.
The top four contestants were asked “Miss America”-style questions, then were each given 15 seconds to get the crowd to make as much noise as possible. A slow clap and “Harvard” chant helped Moira E. Forberg ’11, chair of the First-Year Social Committee, emerge victorious.
An appearance by the football team temporarily interrupted the competition. Head football coach Tim Murphy called his team “classy, tough, and resilient,” and conveyed his appreciation for the supporters.
“I want to thank everybody for the great support you’ve given us all year,” said Murphy.
Football players Brad J. Bagdis ’08 and Steven K. Williams ’08 also thanked their supporters, then Williams pulled various members of the football team forward, citing them as reasons why he thought Harvard would triumph over the Elis tomorrow
The team then proved their Harvard knowledge by singing the fight song, “10,000 Men of Harvard,” in both English and Latin. The Din and Tonics completed the musical section with a performance of the alma mater, “Fair Harvard.”
This was the second year in a row that rain threatened to derail plans for the pep rally.
Last year, organizers had to cancel the event, and that option was considered this year as well.
“To be honest, if it was raining we were going to cancel it,” said Haining Gouinlock ’07, the campus fun czar.
At 7:30 p.m., students were notified by e-mail that the festivities had instead been moved to the pub.
“It would have been nicer outside, but it works in here,” said Natalie I. Mazur ’11.
“This shows who the true fans are,” added Jarell L. Lee ’10.
Though the pep rally was able to go on, some events had to be altered to fit the new venue. Space restrictions prevented the marching band from playing and kept the cheerleaders from performing any of their stunts.
The first Harvard-Yale pep rally in recent memory was held two years ago with an estimated 2,500 students in attendance.