The University of California Rally Committee (also known as the Rally Committee or Rally Comm) is one of the oldest and largest student organizations on the UC Berkeley campus. Established in 1901 by University of California President Benjamin Ide Wheeler, the Rally Committee members are the Official Guardians of California Spirit and Traditions. The Rally Committee comprises hundreds of student members and is founded on its motto: Stand nineteen feet tall! Be united! Be tough! Be proud!
The University of California
Rally Committee (UCRC) was created in 1901 as a men's group for promoting spirit at the University. The first Chairman, Alex Adler, played a major role in making the organization a success by founding it on ideals of selfless dedication to the spirit of California. In 1927, the University designated the Rally Committee as the official guardians of all campus traditions, which included the student section and other traditions. In 1933 the Committee became the official custodian of the Stanford Axe
. During World War II
, the Women's Rally Committee
was created to take over in the absence of most of the men, but when the men returned it was renamed as the California Rally Committee
and the two committees remained segregated. In 1973 the ASUC
refused to fund student groups segregated by gender and thus the male and female committees merged to form the University of California Rally Committee.
The Rally Committee is currently the oldest student group on the campus.
- Guardians of California Spirit and Traditions
- Custodians of The Stanford Axe
- Caretakers of The Big "C"
- Keepers of the California Banner, the Walking Banner, and Cal Flags
- Bonfire Rally
- California Victory Cannon
- Card stunts
- Big Game Week, Homecoming Week, and Charter Week
- Float Building (years when the California Golden Bears compete in the Rose Bowl)
- Other Rallies
In 1910, the UCRC created what is now known as the Card stunt
, but at the time was called a bleacher stunt.
The 1910 Big Game
against Stanford University
marked their first appearance of card stunts and the Rally Committee is attributed with their invention. In these stunts, students in the rooting section are handed thick paper cards of certain colors and instructions on when to hold up each color. As the rows begin to hold up their cards, scenes depicting California pride, campus monuments, campus triumphs, and some trash talking are visible in the alumni section. Card Stunts became very successful and popular not only at the University of California
, but at many other schools and sporting event. This has spread to be performed many other sporting events including NFL Super Bowls, the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic games
While early card stunts were designed by hand and required volunteers to individually write directions for student-section participants to hold up and change cards, Committee members later developed software to simplify the process. Today, a card stunt image can be designed and instructions created for each of the 2500 or more participants involved all in a few minutes on a computer.
California Victory Cannon
The California Victory Cannon
is one of the most recognizable symbols of California football and the Rally Committee is the official caretaker of the cannon. The civil-war-style cannon is a gift from the Class of 1964 and made its first appearance in 1963 Big Game
. Up to 1971, the cannon was fired inside the stadiums; however, due to an unfortunate incident with a rival school's cannon, cannons were banned from all Pacific 10 Conference
stadiums (at the time Pac-8).
From its location high atop Tightwad Hill overlooking Memorial Stadium, the cannon can be heard throughout the city when it is fired for each Cal score and after California Golden Bears' victory. Only once, against Pacific on September 7, 1991, did the Bears score so often that the cannon ran out of ammunition before the final two of Cal's 12 touchdowns in an 86-24 victory.
Big Game Week
Big Game Week
The Big Game
|| California |
|| (44) |
| 1892 1894|
| 1892 1893|
| 1898 1899|
is the week leading up to The Big Game
. Big Game involves one of the great rivalries in College Football between Stanford University
and the University of California, Berkeley
. Each year, the Cardinal
and the California Golden Bears
play for the Stanford Axe
, a perpetual and highly coveted trophy. The Rally Committee considers Big Game Week
to be one of its most important responsibilities. During the week, the committee organizes a number of events:
- Cable Car Rally - An annual rally held in San Francisco in which the Cal Band and the Rally Committee ride a Cable Car through the streets of the city playing fight songs and spreading California spirit. The tradition originated when the Big Game was played on 'neutral ground' in the city.
- Night Rally - The Night Rally is a rally in which the Cal Band along with the Rally Committee and hundreds of other Cal students parade through the streets of Berkeley, CA playing the fight song and other Cal songs.
- Tree Chopping Rally - Held on the steps of Sproul Hall, the Tree Chopping Rally celebrates the upcoming Big Game as members of the Cal Logging Team chop trees (Stanford University's unofficial mascot) at noon.
- The Bonfire Rally - The largest permitted fire west of the Mississippi River, the bonfire rally is put on by the UCRC after months of preparation on the Friday before the Big Game. Thousands of students gather in the Greek Theatre to witness the night of Cal songs, cheers, acapella groups, and California Spirit. The Bonfire is one of the Rally Committee's largest and most successful events.
The Stanford Axe
The Stanford Axe is the perpetual trophy of the Big Game, the annual contest between Cal and her archrival Stanford University. The members of the Rally Committee are the guardians of the Axe when it is in California's possession, the Chairman of the Rally Committee being the official Custodian of the Axe.
The Rally Committee is led by a group of individuals that form the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee currently consists of the Chairman and a number of branches, each of which oversees certain aspects of the Rally Committee. The Chairman, the two Vice Chairs, the Treasurer, and the Secretary form the Executive Board.
- Vice Chair of Membership
- Director of Member Events
- Director of Athletics
- Vice Chair of Spirit
- Director of Rallies
- Director of Stunts
- Special Events Coordinator
- Director of Internal Public Relations
- Director of External Public Relations
- Director of Security
- UC Cannoneers (2)
- Historian (2)
- Director of Multimedia