First Year at UU – SAC Behind the Scenes

StevenCutliff-200Post by Steven Cutliff, freshman international business major

My name is Steven Cutliff, and I’m a new SACling. By that I mean I’m a first year member of the Student Activities Council. As a SAC member, I got the chance to work the Casey Jones Hullabaloo event earlier this month, and I had so much fun! I believe there is a major difference between what it feels like to attend an event and to be a part of making the event happen. Instead of enjoying an event for the sake of simply having fun, we get to find ways to make our event the most enjoyable for everyone involved.

I’ve heard things described as a person’s “baby” before, and I always thought it was a strange phrase. Now I get it. Hullabaloo was a lot of work, but it was pretty awesome to see a small idea turn into an event the whole student body had the chance to enjoy. Hullabaloo was my baby, and it was amazing to see what it grew into. When the event first started, I was worried that no one would come. All of us SAC members were good to go, with our flannel shirts and work assignments, but there weren’t very many people. I started to panic. I was in charge of the hot chocolate, and though I had rows of steaming cups lined up, people were still trickling in. It turns out it was just the calm before the storm. Soon there were people everywhere I looked! It became a struggle to keep up with the huge demand for hot chocolate. On two separate occasions my job was to inform people that we were completely out and waiting for the staff from The Old Country Store, which is part of Casey Jones Village, to bring us more.

Before the event started, all of the SAC members were admonished to step back, at least once, and just enjoy the night. We were told that if we focused only on what needed to happen we would miss the great things that were going on. I’m so glad I was given that advice. When I did get the chance to take a good look, I saw smiling friends laughing and enjoying tasty treats by the fires, I heard beautiful music being played for a crowd that was enthusiastic in showing its appreciation for the musicians’ efforts, and I felt the crisp air in my lungs. It was great. There was something for everyone. There was even a small bit of mosh pit action towards the end for those who were into that sort of thing (I participated eagerly). It was so fulfilling to know that I had been a part of making this happen. I feel like I got to know each person there just a little bit. If you were at the event, I just want to say “thank you” for making it so wonderful.

10622699_909867229042438_2695180475933457071_nMobile phone photo above courtesy of Erika Borrero

Photos below by Morris Abernathy, staff photographer

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Bulldog Madness – Athletics Season Kickoff

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Post by Katie Woodruff, associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator

If you weren’t at Bulldog Madness last night, you missed out BIG TIME! It was the biggest pep rally and spirit-building opportunity we’ve had in my 12 years at UU. This is going to sound weird, but it was somewhat of an emotional moment for me. To see so many different groups on campus come together as one to support our student-athletes was great!

In addition, to see the culmination of our hard work being enjoyed by all and supported by so many students, in that moment, was so gratifying.

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“It was great to see so many students come together in support of our athletic teams,” senior psychology major Kevin Morgan said. “Last night there weren’t Greeks and indies or athletes and students, we were all Bulldogs.”

Alec Beard, a junior international business major who filled in as dancing Buster, said he enjoyed seeing the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd.

The evening involved black lights, glow sticks, hyped up music, selfies and more energy than I’ve ever felt before in The Fred. We were intentionally building school spirt through a remix of the flash mob from a performance earlier in the day, introduction of a student-led cheer support team called the Fred Fanatics, a performance from the cheerleaders, some minute-to-win-it games, 10-minute scrimmages by both the men’s and women’s basketball teams and a scrimmage between faculty/staff and students.

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Dr. Oliver then led a “Never Forget” cheer on the court, surrounded by all the students.

“It was really neat to see the student body come together for a fun event supporting our basketball teams,” said Jesse Dahms, a junior business management and psychology major. “The blackout was really awesome and a great way to build hype. I think we are excited and ready for this upcoming basketball season.”

What a night! Our hope and desire in athletics is to continue to build school spirit. Bulldog Madness brought different campus groups together — the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, cheerleaders, the student group Fred Fanatics, volunteers from campus organizations and classes as well as student-athletes. It takes synergy to build energy and enthusiasm. I think we are heading in the right direction, and I’m excited.

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Scott Lancaster, multimedia producer, put together this short video of the events from last night:

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