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As soon as midnight chimed the day students got back to campus in January, one of the oldest homecoming traditions in American begins as purple and gold side begin hanging ribbons across the campus to signify the true start of the College Night season. Of course there have been a few events to get things going in the fall: the College Night Mixer, purple side potluck, gold side’s “Gold Rush” for new golds, etc., but the spring semester is when things really begin to heat up!

Immediately following the ribbon hanging on Monday are cast auditions for each side. In a 2-3 day process the cast is chosen, the orchestra has its players, and the rehearsals immediately begin. And not only are the shows being produced and score being written, but each side has gathered together athletes to compete in the volleyball, soccer, and basketball games. So anywhere you go on campus, you can find someone holding up there PV or GV to one another hoping to win against the other.

And as we all know, the show and its details are held secret until the revealing on the opening Wednesday night in February, but there are a few things along the way to give a few clues as to what it could be. A few weeks into the semester the Sign Raising/Pep Rally are held! Each side designs a sign that hints at what the show could be about, but few truly figure it out. At the pep rally the Purple and Gold cheerleaders raise the morale of each side before the announcement of cast and cabinet. This is the first time the cast has been revealed to anyone; even each side’s own members.

The month finishes up with the beginning of the sporting competitions on the last Saturday of January, and continuing the next two of February. But the moment everyone waits for is the second Wednesday in February: Opening Night! Each year thousands of people flood Palmer Auditorium to watch sides cheering, singing, and anxiously anticipating the start of the show. This year Gold side will go first, and Purples will immediately follow. The shows go on through Saturday night, which is the true “College Night.” That day the cheerleaders perform and compete for the win, the men’s basketball team plays the last game of the College Night season, and that night judges watch and critique each show while points are accumulated based on their professional opinions of the performance. After both shows are done on Saturday, all points are added up: Sporting events, spirit, cheerleading competition, music and musical direction, script, acting, etc. It all goes in to play. After weeks of hard work, dedication, and time put into everything, it all comes down to one moment. As cabinet, cast, and orchestra stand on stage, and the audience listens closely, the SGA president walks on stage and thanks all those involved. Each side has given a line to signify something special to their side, and as the SGA president finishes his speech, both Purples and Golds are listening closely to each word stated to hear if it’s “their” line. And as the moment comes, you have to wonder: What’s it gonna’ be?



January 2010
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