By Celynne Hebron ’15
During the Student Council Summer Conference, I was informed that students were now banned from stomping during the Alma Mater. I thought this was a joke, hoping that student council wanted to wake up the gloomy club and class presidents from the nostalgia of summer vacation.
This forbiddance had to do with the action’s resemblance to a “violent war cry,” as several alumnae phrased it when a few of our current IH students performed the Alma Mater during the 2013 Alumnae Reunion. In my interview with Ms. Hurst, I asked her of her opinion on the stomping during the Alma Mater. “The Alma Mater was written as a prayer, not as a fight song,” she declared, as she sees it “more of a celebration of the school’s values and what we hoped to achieve rather than a fight song.” She approves of the Alma mater sung at graduation “without the stomping, without the raising of the hands” because “that’s the way [she] wanted the girls to remember the way that it should be.”
According to Ms. Hurst, this recent motion of stomping along to VIC-TO-RY was conceived during a pep rally. So when I was reminded to refrain from raising my foot at this year’s first pep rally, I felt a limitation in school spirit. These three synchronized stomps aren’t part of a “violent war cry,” but instead part of a united war cry— an encouraging reminder of the supportive sisterhood established at Immaculate Heart. When I pounded the gym floor for the first time as a freshman in unison with my new sisters, I immediately felt the sense of community that was promised to me by the Immaculate Heart pamphlets I greatly admired as an eighth grader passionately craving high school life. There is nothing hostile about declaring unity after the line “We will lead you on to victory.” In fact, by stomping collectively, we are emphasizing the idea of sisterhood. These passionate stomps are our spirits exclaiming the united pride we have as Immaculate Heart students. While, yes, I agree that graduates not stomping at the poignant graduation ceremony is aesthetically pleasing, they’ll still hear the stomps of Immaculate Heart’s spirit.