A Final Farewell to Assumption’s Midnight Madness Tradition
David Cifarelli – Editor-in-chief
“Bleed Blue:” the new and catchy phrase soon to be plastered around Assumption’s campus, although, in some ways, it has already begun.
I was sitting in the Provoc office, doing my usually placement and editing for the upcoming issue, when Celia looks over to me and asks, “Do you want to get some pizza?” I asked where from and she responded, “The Bleed Blue event.” Almost completely forgetting how I was informed that there was over 100 pizzas to be eaten, I ran upstairs to brace the October cold to enjoy food, music and good company before heading back to my basement office.
On Friday, October 26th, the inaugural Bleed Blue event took place on the Hagan Lawn. The event attracted students from all across campus, athletes and non-athletes alike. This event was an aspiration of Student Government Vice President for Student Affairs, Colin McQuillan, who coordinated the event. “Part of what I tried to do was make this event attractive [on] both ends, [for the] athletes and the students,” McQuillan said, “that’s why we had things that they could both kind of get involved in.”
The student body appeared to enjoy the event. A line for pizza and sweets covered the majority of the walkway outside the campus center before all was gone. I remember this mad dash, as I was also a part of the line that had not been seen since Pup Cup last year.
Inflatables decorated the grass and offered recreational relief to students. Athletes strutted around in their “Bleed Blue” long sleeves, some just after practices, talking to their friends. It was, to say the least, an incredible representation of school spirit from both ends.
“We wanted to make something that was more inclusive for all of athletics [and a] better use of the money overall,” McQuillan said. “We wanted to make this event something that everyone can really come to, enjoy as a social event…get some food, get some shirts, kind of get fired up about school spirit.” The event also came at a perfect time, with Assumption’s annual Homecoming Weekend happening that same weekend. “We saw everyone in the ‘Bleed Blue’ shirts the next day, which was really cool,” McQuillan added. This definitely created a greater sense of school pride and community as I embraced the weekend entirely, attending both events.
The planning behind the event involved a lot of communication with athletics. While coaches were contacted to send their players to attend Bleed Blue, SGA worked towards having the same teams that were a part of Midnight Madness attend the event as well. This was a major component that McQuillan stressed throughout the organization process. “The dance and cheer team were super easy,” he said. “They really wanted to be involved…they actually reached out to me, hoping to see that they can still be involved and it was my plan to let them know and, like, keep them in.” The representative added that this event would allow both teams to keep their stake they gained from performing in Midnight Madness for years.
The purpose of the event was not only to bring both students and student athletes together and spread school spirit, but also to highlight the different teams’ accomplishments in their respective seasons. McQuillan said that he had not originally planned a meet and greet with the athletes, but the idea spread around campus after a poster advertisement was printed with the concept being marketed. Therefore, this was almost unplanned but still worked in SGA’s favor. “I guess what the meet and great would more be like it us giving…a bit of time to each team,” McQuillan said if the component had more preparation tied to it, “to talk about all of them and, like, what they accomplished this past year.”
Looking towards the future, McQuillan was overall pleased with the way Bleed Blue turned out, “I actually was surprised at how long people hung around and how many, you know, nonstudent athletes were there…part of what I tried to do was make this event attractive [on] both ends, the athletes and the students…but I actually thought the student body really, really liked it as a whole…and I think the only complaint I really had overall was that it was cold. I think people would have stayed even a little longer if it was warmer out and did it earlier in the year, which is something I plan to do next year.”
McQuillan has already started thinking about correcting this complaint for next year, “I would 100 percent move it to September when its much warmer and lighter out.” In addition, McQuillan hopes to have even more people attend Bleed Blue in the future. “I think now that coaches know what the event is and how it operates that we’ll see, you know, a higher attendance and retention of teams. Otherwise I would pretty much do things the same, maybe look at more shirts.”
It was definitely those shirts that drew so much attention to the event, as well as the endless posters both physical and digital that covered the campus. The Bleed Blue event will definitely be a new event to liven up the school spirit at Assumption and, hopefully, have every a change to show their true colors.
For me being a senior, it was hard to see the event I have attended at Assumption for the past three years vanish – although, it did not completely vanish. It simply took on a new form with new aspects and a wider goal of highlighting more athletic teams. I think the energy and spirit that came from Midnight Madness will carry into Bleed Blue for years to come. As long as there is food, good weather and an abundance of proud “hounds,” the event will succeed.
Some upcoming events for SGA include the Christmas Tree Lighting on November 27th at 7 p.m. on the Hagan Lawn and Christmas in Charlie’s from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 5th. Be sure to check out these events or attend SGA meetings on Sundays at 8:20 in the upstairs of Hagan, or visit the SGA office across from Dunkin Donuts.
David Cifarelli, a senior, studies English and Italian. He is the Editor-In-Chief of Le Provocateur.