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#ExperienceBlueprint COLUMN — Pep Rally Recap: It’s Complicated

The Hilltop Newspaper will be reporting a series on #ExperienceBluePrint before, during and after.

By Jason Ajiake, Assistant News Editor

Hundreds of excited students filled the stands at Greene Stadium for the pep rally, Howard University’s first major Homecoming event, on Tuesday, October 18.

With fists raised in the air as a symbol of Black power, the night started off with a powerful rendition of the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Unfortunately, the excited energy soon turned to confusion after a series of sound complications. Although music was playing, it was hardly loud enough and lacked consistency, as nearly every song was followed by periods of inactivity.

After hosts Malachi Dozier and Michele Henix announced that Shy Glizzy would be the special guest performer, mixed excitement began to fill the stadium once again. Glizzy, who tweeted the previous year about being frustrated that Howard had never invited him to a homecoming event, was prepared to nail the performance and save the night.

The excitement was met with confusion yet again, as the event coordinators gave him a microphone that didn’t work. Visibly frustrated, Shy Glizzy couldn’t properly give a live performance. Instead, his music played in the background while he danced with the non functioning microphone in his hands. Another long period of inactivity followed while the event coordinators tried to figure out what to do. For many though, it was too late — a line to exit the stadium began to form.

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Rapper Shy Glitzy makes a guest appearance. (Photo by Ralph Jones)

Rapper Shy Glitzy makes a guest appearance during Howard Homecoming’s Pep Rally October 18 at Greene Stadium. (Photo Credit: Ralph Jones, Staff Photographer/The Hilltop)

In final attempt to stop people from leaving, the DJ played “Swag Surfin,” accompanied by the actual creators of the song, Fast Life Yungstaz (F.L.Y.). While it succeeded in halting the exodus, it was only a temporary solution to the problem and people continued to leave after the song had finished.

“The event felt very last minute, with no sense of organization at all,” said sophomore undecided major Isaiah Evans. “Howard had so much to prove following last year’s pep rally flop, and once again they disappointed. I know Howard can do better, so I’m left wondering what caused this event to go completely wrong.”

After the event, the Howard University Homecoming Steering Committee tweeted the following: “Apologies for the sound complications tonight! Hope y’all all enjoyed our Pep Rally.”

Despite the apology, many students still felt disappointed.

“It just didn’t live up to the hype. Maybe next year we could opt for a smaller venue like the Burr Gymnasium, it’ll contain the energy better,” said senior political science major Alexandra Joseph.

“But I appreciate all the hard work the Homecoming Committee did in making this event happen.”

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