Soon to arrive on Nov. 17 is a new social function that has been actively organized by the Keene State College dance team and other committees who have taken the absence of Midnight Madness quite personally.
The Tip Off, Kick Off has been put together as a new form of celebration, before the well-known Tip Off, Kick Off tournament for basketball, in order to get students pumped for the start of the new athletic seasons.
The hope for the event is to see a more spirited and controlled pep rally in the KSC gymnasium, where students can gather to support the men and women’s basketball teams, the dance team, the KSC cheerleaders, and the student break-dancing group, known as The Keene State Breakers.
Aside from all of the excitement that has been stirred from the acceptance of this event, there has been much concern regarding its turnout as well.
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Will this so-called pep rally really be any different than Midnight Madness, or will it be just another social function where students can drink and act out?
Student Body President Colin Daly said he thinks the Tip Off, Kick Off is a great way to acknowledge some of KSC’s teams and get fans excited about the new seasons coming up.
However, he mentioned that it is not something he would have recommended himself.
“If we are trying to pull away from Midnight Madness, then why create an event which represents the exact same thing?” Daly questioned.
Daly said there were several reasons why Student Government decided against Midnight Madness this year, besides budget constraints.
“A lot had to do with past behavior,” Daly said. “We don’t know if something that late is really what we’re aiming for.”
“We want to keep students away from enabling them to drink and be rowdy, and possibly endanger other students,” Daly continued. “We definitely do not want to give them the environment where that would be acceptable.”
Daly said there are many more similarities between Tip Off, Kick Off and Midnight Madness than he would have liked.
Daly also raised the concern that it only represents specific teams, when he believes that KSC athletics should make an effort to help support and bring recognition to all of its sports teams, instead of just a selected few.
“Just because we have this event which gives school spirit to these teams, doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of other teams that go unrecognized,” Daly said. “And if we have other pep rallies, I would like to see it encompass more sports teams than just the dance team and basketball teams.”
Daly pointed out that Midnight Madness involved a lot of collaboration from different areas on campus, including money for the DJ, prizes, security, etc.
He said if this is something students want, then KSC athletics have a responsibility to give all of its teams recognition and contribute to help organize these events.
Dance Team Co-Captain Kellee McNeil said this event will hopefully be a much smaller scaled version of Midnight Madness, and has been limited to approximately 1,000 people.
“It’s kind of like a first-come, first-serve type of event, as there will be limited amounts of t-shirts and prizes as well,” McNeil said.
McNeil explained that the event has been sponsored by a committee of students including the dance team, basketball teams, and cheerleaders, who planned a meeting in response to the cancellation of Midnight Madness.
“Midnight Madness is usually our big moment where the crowd really sees us, it’s our first official performance in the gym and everybody gets real pumped up for it,” McNeil said.
Dance Team Co-Captain Lisa Garamella said that in terms of school spirit, the squad is really hoping to see a big turnout for the event.
“We’re having a contest for most spirited, so we really want kids to go all out, paint their bodies, and just get really into it,” Garamella said.
McNeil said the dance team is very excited for the pep rally, and plans on participating fully in this event, giving out T-shirts and prizes together, and showing their spirit by “doing a kick-ass dance.”
Senior Captain of the KSC women’s basketball team Meghan Farrell and KSC men’s basketball team member Nicco Demasco said they are also really pumped up for the Tip Off, Kick Off, as it will be a representation of the start of each of their seasons as well.
“I would hope that if the students are putting in an effort to sponsor this event, that they will be enthused and spirited about it,” Farrell said.
“We’re really hoping to get a lot of kids to just come support the teams, have a good time, energized and full of spirit, instead of having to drink just to have a good time,” Demasco said. “I would also like to see students paint their faces, and get riled up.”
The event will take place in the KSC gymnasium from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The primary hope is that students attend with every intention of being spirited and having a good time, without all the drunken chaos that has been normally seen at Midnight Madness in the past.
With a $2 admission fee at the door, students will be able to come into this pep rally with high hopes of a fun-filled and high-spirited occasion.