Groundhog 2012: inside the longstanding tradition

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Christine Hardey
Contributing Writer

Like any typical University of Dallas student, you’re probably as stoked as I am that Groundhog Week is already upon us.  It’s fun for everyone, from freshmen to seniors, to alumni, to just about anyone, for that matter.  Last week, I caught up with SPUD Traditions director Amanda Machado, senior business major, to learn more about the festivities the week holds in store.

CH: Can you tell us a little about the tradition of Groundhog at UD, for anyone who might not be familiar with it?

AM: Groundhog has been around UD for several years. Originally, I believe a senior class here wanted to throw a themed party that was different from the types of theme parties that were common at colleges and universities in the ‘60s, so they looked at their calendars and agreed that a party to commemorate Groundhog Day was unique enough. From there, they threw a huge party in the woods and a UD tradition was formed. Now SPUD is in charge of the celebration, and we have a bunch of festivities leading up to the Party in the Park, which includes electing a senior male and female to be Groundhog King and Queen and emcee at the actual celebration; Groundhog themed TGIT; Senior Champagne Breakfast; a 5K Student Foundation puts on; a Powderpuff game; (usually) a rugby game; and finally the Party in the Park. To get to Groundhog, students meet at Lynch Circle/the Tower, where they get on buses that take them to the woods; there, students get on a hay ride that takes them to Groundhog. Once there, students can enjoy live music performed by student bands and professionals, while enjoying free food and beverages.

CH: How did you come up with the t-shirt theme, and can you tell us about the student artist?

AM: I chose Molly Rawicki, a junior art major, to create the t-shirt. Not only is she a good friend, but I’ve always been really impressed by her artistic ability, so to me she was the obvious choice. The shirt theme was all Molly’s idea; I pretty much gave her a list of quotes I thought would have been good to use, and she came up with the colors, final quote and design. Looking back, I feel really bad for putting all that work on poor Molly – especially when Renee and I asked her to fix things over and over – but I’m really pleased with the results and am very honored Molly agreed to doing the design for my senior year Groundhog shirt.

CH: Which bands will be playing at Groundhog this year?

AM: For Groundhog TGIT, Tom Buoni will be opening for High-Definition. The bands that will be playing at Groundhog Party in the Park this year are Buddha D’Souza and the Guys Upstairs, Paul Spring Band and The Orbans.

CH: How did you decide on the visiting bands?

AM: Besides the headliner, I chose the bands I did for both TGIT and the Party in the Park because they have all played at some UD event or another before and had really positive responses from the students. Finding a solid headliner with a tight budget is somewhat hard, but The Orbans are from Fort Worth, and I really enjoy their music – they’re great live and have a unique sound – so I went with them.

CH: What types of beer will be available for those who are 21 or over?

AM: There’s going to be a light beer and a dark beer available. Usually, Aramark chooses Bud Light and Ziegen Bock as the respective options.

CH: What type of food will be served at the event?  (Will there be s’mores again?!  I love those.)

AM: Just like every year, there will be loads of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and – luckily for you – s’mores! The food is included in your ticket price.

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