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Madness on the menu
Normally, a few Quinnipiac kids in yellow shirts wouldn’t turn heads. But, on Oct. 16, thousands of people were decked out in yellow, forming quite a scene. This year’s Midnight Madness certainly lived up to its name, according to those in attendance.
More than 2,500 students, faculty and parents were in attendance, many adorned with stickers on their cheeks, ski caps swinging and ribbons in their hair.
“Midnight Madness stands for Quinnipiac spirit and everybody getting together and celebrating why they came to Quinnipiac,” Adam Bernard, a member of Step to Perfection, said. “It also helps introduce the freshmen to a good time on campus.”
Prior to the start of Midnight Madness, a variety of food made by Quinnipiac’s student organizations was available in the hockey arena at this year’s Food Fair from 5-7 p.m.
At 6 p.m, there was still an hour to go until the start of the event and there was already a line out the door. Students were jumping up and down from sheer excitement and hoping to catch some relief from the bitter cold. The air was filled with laughter and cheers as the doors opened and students, parents, faculty and athletes alike starting pouring into the stadium, hoping to snag one of the 1,500 free Quinnipiac sherpa hats.
As 7 p.m. neared, the chatter became more persistent and the lights aimed at the court dimmed. President John Lahey was introduced, as well as Nick Bartlett, the master of ceremonies, and just like that, the festivities began.
The night was filled with games, dances, cheers and songs. The pep band was there to perform such songs as “Build Me Up Buttercup” and “YMCA.” From the very beginning the cheerleaders were constantly exuberant and on their feet, clapping, cheering and eliciting responses from the crowd.
Individuals from each class were pitted against one another in sumo wrestling. The parents were even involved in the festivities, often going head-to-head with their kids in order to obtain the ultimate bragging rights.
“Everybody was very friendly,” Nancy Adrian, mother of freshman Miles Adrian, said. “And being a parent, it was a lot of fun to be around all of this excitement. Midnight Madness is a wonderful opportunity to be able to feel the aspect of a sense of community that is present on campus.”
Throughout the night, songs from the “The Bobcat Top Ten Tunes” were played, including “I Gotta Feeling,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Zombie Nation,” and the song that finished number one in the voting: “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC.
The infamous Boomer was a permanent fixture on the court, there to lend a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on to anyone who needed it.
There were performances by Step to Perfection, Dance Company, Dance Fusion, Kickline and the Quinnipiac cheerleaders.
“My favorite part of Midnight Madness is definitely performing, doing the dance and showing everyone what we’ve been working on since the second week of school,” junior Dance Company member Catherine Hsu said. “It was long rehearsals and a lot of work, but it’s worth it.”
Four volunteers were also able to engage in the “Dance Off.””Afterward, the winner was challenged by two student athletes from the crowd. Throughout the competitions and performances, the audience was also given the opportunity to vote on the activities via text. For example, one was able to vote for “Best Dunker,” “Best Dancer” in the dance-off, and were also able to rate the performance of the pep band and the spirit groups.
Amid escalating clouds of red smoke emerged the men’s and women’s basketball teams, encouraged by the echoing cheers of the students. The enthusiasm was high and the family component of Quinnipiac was evident as brothers on the basketball team choose this special occasion to present flowers to their mother for her birthday.
Shortly after, athletes were introduced and, in a mass of yellow, formed a parade around the entire perimeter of the stadium.
To close the festivities, three students seated in the student section were given the opportunity to win prizes. Students who caught a ball thrown by Boomer could win a trip for two to Miami with the women’s basketball team, Yale-Quinnipiac hockey tickets and an authentic Quinnipiac University hockey jersey.