Meet Rider’s Cranberry — Senior Joanna Grillo

What was it like transforming into the Cranberry?
Well, first I went to the [Office of Campus Life] to become the Cranberry, and they handed me what looked like a large lump of fabric and a backpack with a battery in it. They said, “Go over to the Campus Mall; they’ll tell you how to get in it over there.” I went over to the Campus Mall and in the middle of the area, in front of all the people standing there for Cranberry Day, they said, “Okay, put your feet in the legs.” It’s just one giant blow-up suit, so you wear a battery pack and then they hook you up and you stand in it with it kind of falling in your face as it slowly blows itself up.

What was it like inside the suit?

Inside of it there’s something like an overall to help keep the Cranberry suit up. My arms were a little too short to get into the Cranberry arms. It’s a giant, round suit, so it’s a little clumsy. It’s a little difficult to see in it, which is what really causes the biggest problems. So, it’s very hot in there as well, and with that first battery pack dying it got really hot really fast.

How do you have so much school spirit?

I like it here. I won “Most School Spirit” in high school and I feel like I just carried it over into college. I really like Rider and I feel like the more you get involved in it, the more fun it is. People who don’t like it are the ones who don’t do anything. I work in two offices on campus, walk around in a Cranberry suit on occasion and I have like 20 Rider shirts just from going to events. I like the place.

Why do you think it’s important to have school spirit?
Well, it’s where you chose to spend the next four or so years of your life, so you should probably be happy about where you are. Also, part of your tuition goes to all these events and things, so you should have a little spirit, enough spirit to show up to the things you already paid for.

Any words of advice for future Cranberries?
If you’re ever going to be the Cranberry, make sure you take the extra battery pack. They’ll tell you you don’t need it, but you just might.

—Kaitlin MacRae

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