Purpose Statement- The purpose of the Southeast Missouri State University Cheerleaders is to support the athletic teams by promoting school spirit through high quality performances, and to inspire athletic teams by creating an energizing and entertaining environment for the crowd. The Southeast Missouri State Cheerleaders also represent the university at a variety of alumni, community, and charitable events, and shall represent Southeast Athletics with dignity, pride and professionalism at all times.
General- The SEMO Cheerleading team is a Coed squad compromised of up to 22 members and 2-4 alternates. The team cheers at all home football games, men’s and women’s home basketball games, tournament appearances, gymnastic meets, and other appearances on campus and around the community. If the talent level at tryouts does not allow for a full squad, we may have an additional tryout later in the season. Cheerleaders must sign an agreement signifying their willingness to abide by all rules and requirements set forth in the SEMO Cheerleading Policies. All squad members must demonstrate good sportsmanship, good moral and ethical behavior, enthusiasm and respectful attitudes, and are expected to cooperate with coaches, university and athletic administrators, and other spirit squad members at all practices, games, events, and community functions.
Eligibility/Tryouts- To be a member of this team the following requirements must be met: Each cheerleader must be a full time student at this university, be in good academic standing (minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA), sign verifying their agreement to our team policies, and try out every season. Tryouts are a two day process and are closed to the public. Tryouts will be performed in front of a panel of judges comprised of experienced SEMO Cheer alumni. Coaches have final discretion in selecting team members. In the event all spots on the team are not filled at tryouts, or in other special situations, the coaches will hold private tryouts to allow for a full team.
Time Commitment- Practice is held 2-3 times per week throughout the season (generally 2 hour practices). These practice times will be laid out prior to the semester, and cheerleaders are expected to schedule their classes around practice times. Stunting is not allowed outside of the practice setting and must be under coach supervision. Summer practices are mandatory for all cheerleaders. If we choose to attend, camp will also be mandatory. As a squad we work out 2-3 times weekly in addition to our 2-3 weekly practices. Workouts must be completed at the designated day and location. Workouts are to be at least 90 minutes in length, and each cheerleader must follow the designated workout plan. Physical testing will be performed randomly throughout the season to assure that each cheerleader is maintaining or improving their athletic shape as was presented at tryouts. If a cheerleader performs below the expectations set forth at tryouts, they must complete an additional workout weekly until improved. Working out before practice and stunting during workouts are not allowed. Each cheerleader is personally responsible for maintaining a level of fitness suitable of a college athlete. Being a Southeast Cheerleader takes priority over ALL other non-academic activities at all times. When making the commitment to join this team we expect that you will fulfill your obligation to the team by scheduling other plans around the team schedule. Each member must schedule work, sorority/fraternity functions, university organizations, and other events around the athletic calendar. As a member of the squad you are asked to cheer at games over Fall break, Thanksgiving break, Winter break, and Spring break. These games are mandatory for all cheerleaders unless otherwise approved by coaches.
Uniforms/Equipment- As a member of the squad you will be issued several uniforms, warm-up jackets, poms, megaphones, bags, and other apparel/equipment. All items are your responsibility when in your possession. If an item is damaged or lost please report to coaches for resolution. If any uniforms/equipment rather damaged or not are not returned at the close of the season, no scholarship will be awarded. We ask that you provide your own bloomers (black and red- boy cut), mock turtleneck (black), and $20 fee toward shoes. Cheer bags are also $20. No one is to wear or use any of your Southeast apparel except for you and other cheerleaders. If any items are loaned to anyone else you shall be dismissed from the squad. Also, it is forbidden to smoke, use other tobacco products, drink alcohol, or engage in any illegal or unbecoming behaviors in any Southeast apparel as a member of SEMO cheerleading. Doing so will lead to immediate dismissal from team. We are representatives of this university and as such we have an image to uphold. When in uniform, men’s facial hair must be kept minimal if any, and hair must be kept short. Team member’s nails must be kept short and cannot be seen past fingertips, with clear polish only. Makeup must not be worn excessively or in unnatural colors. Men and Ladies hair must be kept in natural colors. Ladies hair must be kept at least half up with long bangs pinned back—hairstyle is designated for the entire team on a per game basis. No jewelry.
Scholarships- The SEMO Cheer team will provide yearly scholarships, divided between the Fall and Spring semesters. These funds are awarded at the end of each semester to those members in good standing who have fulfilled their responsibilities as members of the squad and have the coaches approval. Fall scholarships will be awarded at the end of football season, and spring scholarships shall be awarded after turning in all uniforms/equipment at the close of the season in March. Scholarships are on a graduating scale and each team member shall receive a higher scholarship each year they return to the team. Extra scholarship money is also awarded to captains, out of state members, scholar athletes, and team members without demerits. If a team member quits after scholarships have been released, they will be responsible for returning those scholarship funds to the university.
Safety- The Southeast Cheerleading Program follow all NCAA rules for cheerleading. Stunting is not allowed outside of coach supervision, and any injuries incurred in doing so shall not be covered by the University. Stunt progressions must be followed and checked off by coaches, so that a cheerleader is not trying advanced stunting before perfecting basics for safety purposes. Spotting is required for any stunt that is not perfected. All team members are responsible for their own and each others safety through good spotting, proper technique, and maintenance of an athletic physique.
Academics- Southeast Athletics come second to academics. Each cheerleader is a student first, and an athlete second. All cheerleaders are required to maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Cheerleaders have access to the Redhawks Success Center, which provides academic support for student athletes including a private computer lab, free tutoring services, and academic advisors for athletes. Cheerleaders are also provided with priority enrollment to assist with time management and coordination between your academic and athletic schedule.
Conflict Resolution/Organizational Structure- In order to run safe and effective practices, communication is key; check attitudes and personal problems at the door. If you are in a conflict with another squad member, bring it to your captain or one of the coaches to assist in resolving maturely. If you have a conflict with one of the coaches, please address the other coach. When you wish to discuss a conflict, this should be done in a private conversation before or after practice. If you do not wish to discuss the matter in person, use email. As a college athlete you are an adult, and as such should handle your conflicts yourself as outlined in our policies, as opposed to having a parent handle your conflicts for you, as they are not directly involved in the situation. Southeast Missouri State University spirit groups include the cheerleaders, dancers, and the mascot. Supervision and support for the Cheerleaders is the responsibility of the University Department of Athletics. Any questions, concerns, or problems will follow the hierarchy of authority listed here: Head Cheer Coach, Assistant Cheer Coach, Coordinator of Facilities & Event Management (Kent Phillips), Director of Athletic Marketing, Associate Athletic Director, Director of Athletics, Southeast Missouri State Administration. Channel availability is not an excuse for breaching the chain of command.
Fundraisers- All members of the cheerleading team are asked to participate in fundraising to help support the team's needs. Our Rowdy's Junior Cheerleading fundraiser is mandatory for all women, and open gym fundraisers are mandatory for all men. Other fundraisers will be divided evenly among team members. One of our major sources of fundraising is camps, clinics, and other choreography. Members of the cheerleading team are not allowed to volunteer to run camps or clinics or provide any choreography or critiquing for any other teams, as this would take away from our fundraising opportunities. Squad members providing free services to other teams will be dismissed. The exception is providing private lesson for an individual cheerleader.
Alternates- The SEMO Cheerleading team may or may not have alternates depending on the talent level at tryouts. As an alternate you are required to work out, practice, attend fundraisers, and other events with the team. Alternates will only perform in uniform if another squad member is absent or if asked by the coach. Alternates will receive the same apparel and privileges as all squad members, including scholarships. An alternate maybe asked to take over a position of a team member if their skill level is higher than the current holder and the current team member is not able to perform their duties as a SEMO Cheerleader and is not progressing in their cheerleading abilities.
Seniors/Alumni- Seniors are defined as team members who have cheered for 4 years, or are no longer eligible to cheer due to graduation. Seniors will be honored at a senior night presentation at the last home basketball game. If a team member retires before graduating, they may be considered cheerleading alumni if they have served at least two seasons on the team.
Social Media-Each team member must join the official team Facebook page. This page is for sharing photos, posting reminders about upcoming events, and sharing pertinent cheer-related information. It is a space for positive cheer-related information only and is not to be used to express disgruntled feeling or call out other team members. Also, keep your personal profiles/accounts clean as you represent the university at all times.
Travel-Team members occasionally travel--contingent on seniority, demerits, and performance.
Late for Practice/Workout Run # of minutes late after – see Demerit scale
Late for Performance/fundraiser Run Double # of minutes late after – see Demerit scale
Excused Absence Workout Make up workout
Unexcused Absence Workout Makeup workout, 10-1 – 2 Demerits
Excused Absence Practice 2 Demerits
Unexcused Absence Practice 3 Demerits, 10- 1
Excused Absence Game 2 Demerits
Unexcused Absence Performance/Fundraiser 6 Demerits, probation+sit out next game
Failure to show/call Performance 10 Demerits, Dismissal from team
Dropped Stunt/poorly executed pyramid (game) 25 Pushups, 5 repetitions next practice (pyramid)
Dropped Pyramid (game) Entire team 10 to 1 running drill, 5 repetitions
Flyer hits ground in any situation Entire team 10 to 1 running drill
Overall Poor Performance Run 15 min and team conditioning session
Bad Attitude/Disruptive Behavior Run 15 min – 2 Demerits
Cumulative GPA Below 2.0 Academic Probation
GPA Below 2.0 2nd Semester Dismissal from Team
Chewing Gum 25 Pushups
Improper Attire, not ready on time 25 Pushups, 1 Demerit
Missing equipment Sit out/retrieve—run/demerits for being late
Missing Uniform/Equipment Scholarship Withheld
Quitting No Scholarship
0 Demerits = Extra $50 Scholarship ($25 per semester) may be awarded
5 Demerits = Reduced to ½ Scholarship, Probation
6+Demerits= Sit out (See probation definition)
10 Demerits = Dismissal from Team, No Scholarship
Late for Practice/Performance Demerit Scale:
1-10 min = 1 Demerit, 11+ min = 2 Demerits, > 60 min - 2 Demerits, 2 10-1s
Disciplinary Actions- Terms
Excused Absence – Sick or injured WITH DOCTOR’S NOTE, family emergency with verification, school event that CANNOT BE MADE UP (ex: CBASE, etc), military obligations, special event or trip that is APPROVED BY COACHES ONE MONTH IN ADVANCE (ex: IN a wedding, , class trip that AFFECTS GRADE, etc.). Athletes are expected at all engagements when injured, post-surgery, “feeling sick,” (call) etc.
Unexcused Absence – Work, social events (ex: fraternity/sorority, other club/plans, etc.), forgetting, declaring oneself sick or injured without seeking medical advice, any other situation that is not approved with coaches one month in advance
Probation – May participate in workouts, practices, performances, pending no further violations. Each subsequent violation results in sitting out 1 football/2 basketball game(s) and any other events falling within that time period, excluding fundraisers.
Academic Probation – May participate in workouts, practices, performances, pending completion of 3 study hours/week for one semester, GPA must improve to 2.0 at completion of this semester, or dismissed from the team
Dismissal – Removed from the team, no scholarship
*** Breaking Team Policies or other problems will be dealt with as seen fit by coaches. The above disciplinary actions may be added to or reduced based on coaches’ discretion. ***