Yell Like Hell remains regular ISU Homecoming tradition

Mary-Kate Burkert

Since 1912, Homecoming has celebrated Iowa State with traditional events including tailgate parties, lawn displays, a “Yell Like Hell” cheering competition and mass campaniling take place.

Yell Like Hell practices for Homecoming 2011 started Sept. 6 and run until first cuts on Oct. 16, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Central Campus.

Second and final cuts follow on Oct. 19 and Oct. 21 — the unlikely kickoff to Homecoming weekend.

“Each pairing creates a fun and humorous skit relating to traditions here at Iowa State,” said Dave Arends, Yell Like Hell co-chairman for Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, Alpha Chi Omega sorority and Theta Xi fraternity. “It’s the perfect way to prep for Homecoming and it’s a tradition entirely unique to Iowa State’s campus.” 

“Each pairings’ co-chairs create choreography for chants and write a script. Seeing each skit come together in the final practices really shows off the creativity we have here at Iowa State,” Arends said.

Practices for Yell Like Hell take place rain or shine, warm weather or frigid temperatures, but it all leads up to earning bragging rights as Yell Like Hell champions of 2011.

“So far, my favorite part of Yell Like Hell is learning the dances,” said Mia Vacanti, freshman in Chi Omega sorority and Yell Like Hell participant. “It’s exciting to learn the chant, but even more exciting to be able to put moves to the words. When the whole group runs through the entire dance and skit, it looks really cool and makes me excited to see the final product.” 

This Homecoming pastime is not only a time for competition to thrive, but also when friendships form in the spirit of Iowa State.

“I really enjoy it because it’s a great way to meet other greek houses on campus and to represent your pairing well,” said Caitlyn Schulz, a Yell Like Hell co-chairwoman for Alpha Delta Pi sorority and Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. “The group of people I have the opportunity to work with has made Yell Like Hell such a positive experience.”

“I am most looking forward to seeing what creative things other pairings come up with and finding out how our group compares,” she said.

Yell Like Hell was Mattea Rainforth’s favorite part of freshman year.

“It helped me bond with girls in my sorority and also get to know people in our pairings and other houses. I love the pumped-up feeling I get from yelling at the top of my lungs and doing crazy jazz hands,” said Rainforth, a co-chairwoman for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Farmhouse fraternity.

The enthusiasm for this Homecoming tradition is not only shared among the participants but also alumni and the Homecoming Central Committee.

“I am so passionate about Yell Like Hell because of how unique it is,” said Lindsay Schrader, Homecoming Central’s Yell Like Hell coordinator.

Schrader has participated in Yell Like Hell for the last three years; she was a participant, a co-chairwoman for her house and is now the Yell Like Hell coordinator.

“I guess I got to see every aspect of Yell Like Hell,” she said. “Although it can be stressful, it is one Homecoming tradition I can’t do without. It is great that Yell Like Hell is something that any Iowa State student can participate in. We have a great Gold Division, which is non-competitive, and I cannot wait to see their skits. Everyone needs to make it a priority to come and watch.”

The yelling, facials, jazz hands and fully painted bodies make this Homecoming event different than others.

“It is exciting when second and final cuts come, and the pairings are able to paint their entire bodies from head to toe,” said Aaron Williams, Homecoming Central general co-chairman. 

“They perform on Central Campus in front of the Campanile, which culminates all of the past six weeks worth of work down to one performance in front of the lights, judges and community. I love to see the passion and school spirit evident in their enthusiasm.”