My name is Christina Szymanski. I am a junior at Emerson College and also the co-captain of the Emerson Spirit Squad here on campus. The spirit squad is made up of 12 passionate, hard working girls that simply want to continue with their love for cheerleading. However, in the past few years that this team has been on campus, we have gotten little support from Emerson College. We are calling on you today to help us out. While we have the talent and passion to be a cheerleading team supported by the school, we unfortunately, are not.
While we have met with the previous athletic director multiple times, not much progress was made and she eventually stepped down from the position. This year, we are determined to make some progress in the right direction. We have been in contact with the interim athletic director. There is a small possibility we may be able to perform at basketball games (as dancers and not cheerleaders), we have not heard back. We have also taken the precautionary measures that he has asked of the team. We have fundraised enough money for team uniforms and 12 cheerleading mats, on our own. Additionally, we have every girl fill out a waiver form and emergency contact information just in case of an accident. We have also looked into every other school that Emerson plays in basketball and 10 out of 14 schools have cheerleaders. The remaining 4 schools may even have cheerleading teams not supported like ours, so we do not know for sure.
On our own our squad has also performed at events such as the Emerson Dance Company semester showcases and the Boston Blazers games (Boston’s professional lacrosse team). We recently got an offer from a graduate student to help coach us, which is another huge step for us. In addition, she is also doing a documentary on the issues that the cheerleaders here at Emerson are facing.
For a school with such amazing school spirit, cheerleading would only be beneficial. While I am not starting this petition for Emerson College to magically accept cheerleading and deem it a school-sanctioned activity, I am starting this to possibly take steps in the right direction. I want girls (and boys!) to be able to join and enjoy cheerleading for years to come. I believe that we have accomplished a lot, but we are asking the student body to be behind us and support us during this time.