Friday Morning Rallies aim to communicate, build community


O'Shaan Allison

The Friday Morning Rally Committee is looking to make the next one better than the last.

With some mixed reaction around the newly implemented Friday Morning Rallies, Malvern faculty and student leaders are seeking new ways to increase their popularity and garner student approval.

The Friday Morning Rally was launched in mid-September by Theology teacher Mr. Alex Haynie and a team of seniors. Every Friday morning, all students are to report to the Duffy Theater for ten minutes to get updated on all of the upcoming events that are happening throughout next week.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“We get together as a school community once a week at Chapel, but I think meeting more frequently can help our community in a number of ways.”

-Mr. Alex Haynie[/perfectpullquote]

Haynie is enthusiastic about the new tradition. “I’ve been thinking that Malvern could use something like the FMRs for a couple of years, actually,” he said.  “We get together as a school community once a week at Chapel, but I think meeting more frequently can help our community in a number of ways.”  

According to Haynie, meeting in Duffy on Friday mornings allows Malvern to showcase student work, have student performances, share “sneak-peeks” of upcoming theater productions, and offer community members a chance to make in-person announcements.

However, student reaction has been mixed so far. Some students expressed that they would rather use homeroom time for other purposes.

“I think they are a waste of time because the time in homeroom can be used for other things like catching up with friends or doing work,” junior Christian Galilea said. “They told us that they were going to make announcements and some other things, but none of that has actually happened.”

“I kind of like the premise of the idea, but I would like to have homeroom to study for a test or plan for my day,” senior Andrew Oberkircher said. “Also, specialty homerooms can’t experience the FMRs.”

[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I kind of like the premise of the idea, but I would like to have homeroom to study for a test or plan for my day. Also, specialty homerooms can’t experience the FMRs.”

-Andrew Oberkircher ’17[/perfectpullquote]

Specialty homerooms that are for academic credit like Liturgical Music are not regularly attending the FMRs, as this is graded class time.

Other students recognize that planning the FMRs is challenging. “I believe that Friday Morning Rallies are interesting when somebody does something on stage that is recognizable instead of seniors just talking about intramural stuff,” freshman Alex Zevalny said. “I do think that they can improve, but it’s kind of difficult.

Oberkircher proposed one option. “Maybe the possibility to opt out of it where you could check in with your teacher and study or something, but then that could lead to people not going at all,” he said.

Haynie said that planning for the FMRs began last spring.  “Last spring I met with Mr. Algeo and we discussed how we might roll-out these FMRs this year,” Haynie said. “The student leaders of the FMRs have been great and very willing to donate their time for the good of the community.”

According to Haynie, the plan is to continue the FMRs for the rest of the school year. “We know these will ‘evolve’ over time, and we expect that many times the FMRs might be made up of mostly announcements. But I have already been contacted by faculty members and students who have ideas for the time during the FMR, so that’s great.”

Haynie said that feedback from students and faculty on the FMRs is extremely important, and from his perspective the feedback has been positive.

“Feedback has been very positive. A ton of students and a lot of faculty members think they are very valuable for our community and the faculty think the FMRs offer the students a lot of opportunities,” Haynie said. “I hope they can be entertaining and informative, and ultimately, help build our community.”

Some faculty members have also showed a positive response to the Friday Morning Rallies.

“In my 33 years, this is one of the best things that Malvern has ever done,” economics teacher Mr. John Ostick said. “Having senior leaders take charge and lead is awesome for this school.”

Senior Max McCool, one of the hosts for the Friday Morning Rally, sees benefit in the rallies for communication.

“At first a lot of people were kind of bored with the first Friday Morning Rally,” he said. “We’re going to be more informative and a lot more entertaining for the audience.”

Haynie first experienced a version of the Friday Morning Rally when he was a student at Germantown Academy. He thought it was a great idea to bring the rallies to Malvern.

History teacher Mr. Andrew Burke will be taking over Haynie’s leadership role with the rallies while Haynie is out on paternity leave. Burke thinks the key to building the rallies as a tradition is student involvement.

“This is only going to work if the community is willing to support it by lending their talents to the program,” Burke said. “However, it is up to the students to make it happen.”

“It will be fun to see what the student committee comes up with next,” Burke said.“I think that it is a great way to bring the community together to close the week.”