October 1949: At a noon-hour pep rally, the Blue and White Society’s cheerleading squad sparked school spirit for a Varsity football game. “Rippity, rappity, rippity rappity ree,” they chanted before performing cartwheels across King’s College Circle. “Yay Toronto!”
To keep students zealous during a game, the Blue and White Band clashed cymbals when Varsity made a touchdown. When the opposing team scored, the trombonist moaned a sorrowful lament.
The role of this Students’ Administrative Council (SAC) group was to foster social and cultural events on campus, and it regularly held “football dances” at Hart House. A 1970 edition of the society newspaper, the Blue and White Starecase, reveals the cost for admission: $1 for “hustlers” and 50¢ for “chicks.”
As the women’s movement progressed, the cheerleading team came under scrutiny. That same issue of the newspaper published a letter from a cheerleader who complained that the SAC had referred to the squad as “a decadent, bourgeois group that exploit[s] women.”
Today’s Students’ Union groups bend over backwards to not exploit anyone, while continuing to encourage school spirit. Last fall, students in the Blue Crew paraded cheering alumni and students along Philosopher’s Walk to the Homecoming football game, proving the pep rally is definitely still part of campus life.
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