In the past, Midnight MAACness has taken on a Fright Night theme, played on a Jimmy Buffett song with MAACaritaville and, most recently, morphed Alumni Gym into the Broncs’ Zoo. Tomorrow night, however, be prepared for a new (or olde?) theme: Medieval Times.
The event is the most anticipated pep rally for Rider’s basketball teams and it changes each year. Dave Keenan, director of Campus Activities, said this year will be “a lot different,” especially since their goal is to “try to get students more involved.”
Keenan persistently said that during Pre-MAACness (7-10 p.m. on the campus mall), there will “be a lot more activity.” Since the theme of this year’s event is Medieval Times, Rider students can expect “to see jesters, magicians, jugglers and psychics,” Keenan said. He added that there will be a medieval acting group, medieval food served on the campus mall and free T-shirts for attending. The campus mall will be decorated to replicate a medieval village.
The Emerging Leaders, Office of Campus Life, Student Government Association and Student Entertainment Council have all worked together and took a “campus-wide approach” to making MAACness a more entertaining and desirable place to be, Keenan said.
“We are focusing more on interactive activities [this year],” he said.
While basketball players get ready for MAACness, another subculture on campus, Greek Life, prepares vigorously for Bid Day. Sophomore Isabella Ezri, a member of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, explained that with the bids being given out on the same day as MAACness, more students’ spirits rise with the newfound accomplishment of becoming a part of Greek Life.
“Bid Day is always a fun day,” Ezri said. “Everyone is in a good mood throughout the whole day and [everyone] enjoys themselves.”
Ezri is excited to see what Rider comes up with next for MAACness.
“Last year was good,” she said. “I’m interested to see how they’re going to out-do themselves this time.”
After the medieval festivities come to an end at 10 p.m., students will gather in Alumni Gym for the beginning of Rider’s first basketball practice of the season. Both men’s and women’s teams will be greeted by Rider’s dance team and cheerleaders as they enter the gym.
“Unlike last year, where we only had one side of the gym’s bleachers open, this year we will have both sets of bleachers opened on both sides,” Keenan said. “This will create more seats and space to fit a lot more people.”
Keenan explained that the school is not focusing on a massive amount of decoration to garnish the gym’s lobby and doors like last year.
“When the students enter the gym, it’s all about honoring the teams,” Keenan said.
Keenan, his colleagues and groups that have helped plan this event put a lot of time and effort into re-creating a medieval village. Still, he guarantees the importance of the rally.
“The focus is on the teams,” Keenan said.
The men’s basketball team had a successful season last year, finishing second in the MAAC, and saw one of its players, Jason Thompson, drafted 12th overall by the Sacramento Kings. In Head Coach Lynn Milligan’s first year, the women’s team had more wins last year than in the previous two years combined.
With basketball season right around the corner, Rider students will hopefully attend Midnight MAACness this year to enjoy some well-deserved food, fun and festivities.
Admission is free to Rider students, faculty and staff only with their Bronc ID. No guests are allowed. The event is not open to the general public.