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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Traditions in transition

Students jump in the fountain after Fountain Fest in the fall of 2013 as part of a student tradition.
Students jump in the fountain after Fountain Fest in the fall of 2013 as part of a student tradition.

By: Elaine Best, Editor

Plans for Tent City have come to a halt after a meeting in the beginning of Sept. between fraternity leaders and the administration. At the meeting, it was unanimously decided that Tent City would not last beyond the weekend of Sept. 17, long enough for fraternity recruitment to finish.

Matt Hammett, assistant dean of students for student involvement, says that the fraternity leaders had weighed the pros and cons of the tents but ultimately decided against the setup. According to Hammett, one of the main reasons for terminating Tent City was sizing issues.

“Even though 30 by 40 feet isn’t small by any means, they felt that once they had a band in the tent and a stage — and by the time they tried to have their fraternity in there, plus guests — they were concerned they wouldn’t have enough room,” Hammett says regarding the fraternity leaders’ decision. “They were concerned about not having flooring in the tents, and they didn’t want to stand on the grass for the entire semester.”

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Moving forward with new plans for a replacement, Hammett stresses that risk management is the top concern for the administration and fraternity leaders.

“Our next step is to think what’s the best plan for our organizations, again thinking about safety and risk management and making sure we have those ducks in a row. That’s where we are now,”says Hammett.

Originally the cost of renting the tents for the entirety of fall semester was going to be around $50,000, and the lawn repair afterwards was estimated to be about $30,000. The administration did thorough research in looking for the best prices, according to Hammett.

Before arriving at the horseshoe, the administration had looked into other locations for the interim row such as the parking lots near Shipp, the Calvary Baptist church and the soccer field. Hammett states that whatever becomes the future replacement for Fraternity Row will still be hosted in the horseshoe between Shipp and Dupre.

As of this publication, there are no set plans for a new interim row, though Hammett hopes to have something setup by the weekend of Sept. 24. Along with changes to Tent City, Wofford students can also expect changes this fall regarding Fall Concert. Hosted by Wofford Live, the concert set for Oct. 2 will have different elements from fall gatherings in the past.

“Hopefully Fall Concert will not be anything like or associated with Fountain Fest,” Wofford Live Chair Ed Able says.

Fountain Fest was one of the replacement celebrations for Boys Bid Day. The original celebration associated with bid day was officially cancelled after the 2012-2013 academic year. In past years, students have covered themselves in grime at the celebration via mud, paint or foam and then run together to jump in the fountain near Wofford’s entrance. However, this year, there will be no official fountain run.

Able explains Wofford Live’s choice to deviate from these past celebrations. “We decided to go with a Fall Concert because we wanted to give this campus something to get excited about in the fall,” says Able. “Since Boys Bid Day has been gradually dissolved, there is no excitement or aura that fills the campus in the fall. Although this event has nothing to do with any bid day on campus, hopefully it will generate the excitement that used to come in the fall semester.”

Hammett also remarks that the new Fall Concert will improve safety on campus. “One challenge we ran into last year was that Fall Weekend fell on the same week as the end of recruitment, which was basically the week that students were going out. We saw consistencies with what we had in the past on previous bid days, such as a number of high risk activities taking place on campus as far as alcohol consumption. We recognized that there has to be space when recruitment takes place and when there’s a large event like that on campus.”

The concert line-up includes Steppin’ Stone, the Trevor Hewitt Band and the headliner Atlas Road Crew.

“[They’re] a great band that carries a lot of energy, great original lyrics and an ability to cover some of the best classic rock very well,” says Able.

Fall Concert will be held on Oct. 2 with bands starting at 9 p.m. Able asks everyone to spread the word around Wofford and other campuses about the concert.

“It is always great to bring students and friends from other campuses to our events,” says Able.

While the tents come down and a new tradition springs up, a year of construction and transition continues for Wofford students on campus. One aspect will remain certain among these changes on campus.

“Risk management and safety,” says Hammett. “I can’t express how much that is all on our minds, thinking of everyone’s safety.”

 

Tent City on its rainy opening night, Sept. 4.
Tent City on its rainy opening night, Sept. 4.

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