By Kristina Morrison
Rider has started clowning around for this year’s circus-themed event, “A Night Under the Big Top.” After a one-year hiatus, tonight Midnight MAACness will be reintroduced to the Rider community.
Midnight MAACness is an event the school hosts to kick off the start of the MAAC basketball season. Last year, it was cancelled after flooding in Alumni Gym led to the discovery of asbestos. In its place, Rider brought back an old event called Cranberry and White Night. According to Dave Keenan, director of campus life, Cranberry and White Night was more along the lines of a pep rally.
Keenan said this year students will have a much more “interactive” experience at both Pre-MAACness and the event itself. Unlike last year, the event will be less like a pep rally for the basketball team and more of an experience students can enjoy and participate in.
This year, students will step into a circus setting when they enter Pre-MAACness outside Daly’s and again when they enter Alumni Gym. The event will be “very close to an actual circus, unfortunately without the animals,” Keenan said.
However, the sports theme will still be prevalent throughout MAACness. Students will be introduced to the men’s and women’s 2010 teams, as well as enjoy performances by both the cheerleading and dance teams. Throughout the night, highlight videos of both teams will be shown and there will be a slam-dunk contest.
Groups from all over campus have come together to make this year’s Midnight MAACness a success. Emerging Leaders, Student Government Association, Student Entertainment Council, Association of Commuting Students, Campus Life, Greek Council and the Resident Housing Association were all involved in helping this year’s event reach its full potential.
“This is the biggest group involved in planning MAACness in quite a few years,” Keenan said. “Students have a great program to look forward to, and we encourage everyone to come out and see it.”
All students are invited to come out to the free event. T-shirts will also be distributed at the event while supplies last. Students need to remember to bring their Rider IDs. Guests will not be allowed entrance to the event.
The night will start out with Pre-MAACness outside Daly’s from 8 p.m. until 10:15 p.m. Students will then be led to Alumni Gym, where doors will open at 10:15 p.m., and the main event will officially start at 10:30 p.m.