In my short time at the University of Dallas, I have already learned that the school-wide traditions start with the smallest steps: The food, the music and the activities all conglomerate and mold with the camaraderie of the students to make for an exciting event. I found this to be true for the SPUD Crawl in its first year.
The volleyball throwdown at Madonna was a great, high-energy way to kick off the night. Even if one didn’t participate in the game, the music, Chipotle chips and salsa, and t-shirts made for a good start to the Crawl. Then students got a chance to relax with free chocolate, vanilla or pumpkin-spice cappuccinos while viewing a slideshow of Rome pictures. The low-key aspect of the second portion of the Crawl made for a smooth transition into the busy junior Chick-fil-A karaoke. Several people took advantage of this climactic activity, on their own or with a group of friends (with a special performance by the Chick-fil-A cow!), before heading to the New Hall Courtyard for the cook-off and concert. Here the true UD spirit was most visible. Students grabbed a bite and a beverage while listening to three righteous student bands and bonding over the essence of the night. Students left with a feeling of overall satisfaction, but a few aspects of the evening could be improved for subsequent years.
For example, the biggest problem of the night was how early students left each event. While each event was supposed to last for an hour (except the first, which was set to be 45 minutes long), students began leaving 30 minutes into the event, with almost everyone gone by the 45-minute mark. The enticement of free giveaways, plus the anticipation of the next event on the roster, were the biggest contributors to this. That being said, some students “took the money and ran,” not even giving thought to the activity they were missing or considering that they may have been taking from people who actually participated. Respect was lacking in this rampant freeloading. Some students proved unwilling to give a couple minutes of their night to at least watch a volleyball game or support a friend singing a Kelly Clarkson classic.
The locations and themes were expertly coordinated. Not only did the Crawl flow through the campus, but everything gelled as far as activities were concerned. Interest level was at a high, and the students who gave this new event a try were not disappointed.
I am looking forward to next year’s SPUD Crawl, with a hope for greater active participation from the student body, and I cannot wait until it truly cements itself among the great UD traditions.