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Blue and Gold Week: Expectations versus Reality

by: Eva Webber and Imani West

Photo Courtesy of Pitt-Greensburg University Relations and Institutional Advancement

With the conclusion of Blue and Gold Week 2022, students and faculty alike can reflect on the weekend’s merriment. Each year, students expect a long lineup of events leading campus into October. But those unfamiliar with the past weeks’ celebrations as a freshman, transfer student, commuter, or someone who missed out last year, might look for context for all the festivities. Look no further.

Al Thiel, director of the student center and student involvement, works especially close with clubs at Pitt Greensburg and oversaw many of the events that occurred throughout the week. 

“Blue and Gold Week is a celebration of the Greensburg campus specifically,” Thiel said. 

He described the past week as not only similar to homecoming in highschool, but as an opportunity for community engagement, encouraging alumni to return and reacquaint themselves with the campus, as well as one for current students to showcase their involvement at Pitt Greensburg.

This year presented a few unique touches to the campus-wide picnic occurring on Saturday, Oct. 1. Primarily, the carnival usually spanning Chambers Lawn had been traded out for several more specific activities sponsored by clubs and organizations on campus (which are listed at the bottom of this article.)

Thiel explained the change was made due to low participation, and feels as though this newer formatting may offer greater chances for students involved in clubs to join in on the action while also engaging more of the student body altogether. As for the official execution, the gloomy Saturday weather dictated most activities be moved inside.

For those over 21, the Beer Garden was new to this year, marking Pitt Greensburg’s first year without dry (alcohol-free) student housing. Originally set to take place at Lynch Hall, the Beer Garden would not only have overlooked two major soccer games, but put forth the opportunity to experience drinking in a professional setting and socialize with alumni, faculty, and students alike. Similarly, the Beer Garden was relocated to the Fireside Lounge. Manning the door was none other than Thiel himself, collecting a $10 charge and limiting attendees to two alcoholic drinks with a choice between wine and beer. Thiel hopes that this event might provide an exciting prospect for underage students’ future years.

Although novelty events are certainly exciting to look forward to, Thiel cites the return of alumni and the homecoming activities as a few of his favorite aspects of Blue and Gold Week. 

“Seeing those alumni who’ve graduated over the years, even before I got here… And I always really enjoy the casino night. The Student Activities Board does a really great job of dressing up the gym and making it look different, but also feel special,” Thiel said. “There’s always good food, and the students and alums can have that casual atmosphere alongside the faculty and staff dealers. It’s a lot of fun.”

Chambers Hall did receive a makeover for the events of Saturday night, sporting a large dance floor and cozy, closely-packed “gambling” game tables, as well as an assortment of free food and drink that was replaced with boxes of pizza as the night went on and supplies ran thin.

Commenting on the scenery, Katheryn Parker, a junior psychology major at Pitt Greensburg who attended last year’s homecoming, mentioned that decor was slightly different, and agreed with an off-campus attendee that simple alterations such exchanging the white overhead lighting for the softer, party-feel of the disco lights might have given a more relaxed atmosphere to the gymnasium.

Alongside the Casino Night, the bonfire on Friday when the homecoming court was announced and the Homecoming Dance itself were projected to have the largest turnout. As for the bonfire, students would find a warm fire on a cool fall evening, as well as music, smores, and a carefree ambiance. 

Homecoming court pictures were taken in front of the largest bonfire. On Saturday night, a turn of events crowned seniors Lamont Ayers-Henry and Henry “Hank” Polley as Homecoming Royalty.

Parker also commented that they expected that one vote would be cast between the male candidates and another between the female. Both votes fell gender neutral and the two most popular candidates were selected by default. It was still a joyous occasion for the two, though no formal homecoming dance was shared.

For future reference, additional information about club sponsorship and specific location/scheduling for some events can be found both through this link and by monitoring your student email as further information is published. 

When asked about next year’s celebration, “Just have fun. Have your friends and family come out… It’s all free,” Thiel said.

Photos Courtesy of Pitt-Greensburg University Relations and Institutional Advancement.

The order of events, both university and club sponsored, were as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 27:

  • Paint & Dip, Village Hall 118, 8PM 

Wednesday, Sept. 28:

  • Blue & Gold Blood Drive, Chambers Gym, 11:30 AM – 4 PM
  • Happy Camper Cakes, Chambers Lawn, 12 PM
  • Dr. Bernard Cobetto Lecture Series on Contemporary Ethical Issues, Ferguson Theater, 7 PM

Friday, Sept. 30:

  • Art Show Reception (Time/Location Unlisted)
  • Bonfire Night, Chambres Lawn, 8 PM

Saturday Oct. 1:

  • Softball Tournament, 9 AM (tentative schedule)
  • Wings Over Westmoreland, 11:30 AM – 4 PM
  • Blue & Gold Picnic/Affinity Tents, 12 – 3 PM
  • Professional Photo Booth, 12 – 3 PM
  • Hospitality Tent & Raffles, 12 – 3 PM
  • Duck Dash Decorating, 12 – 3 PM
  • Word Circus, 12 – 3 PM
  • Cornhole Toss Challenge, 12 – 3 PM
  • Mascot Race & Campus Tour, 12:30 – 1:30 PM
  • Pumpkin Decorating, 12:30 – 1:30 PM
  • Soccer Games, 1 PM & 3:15 PM
  • Women’s Tennis, 1 PM
  • Hardest Slapshot Competition, 1 – 1:30 PM
  • Bobcat Ornament Decorating, 1 – 2 PM
  • Beer Garden, 1 – 3 PM
  • Pickleball, 1 – 3 PM
  • Kids’ Zone, 1 – 3 PM
  • Ice Cream Social, 2 – 3 PM
  • Costume Contest & Time Capsule, 2 – 3 PM
  • Alumni Celebration Dinner, Hempfield Room, 6 – 8 PM
  • Casino Night, Chambers Gym, 8 PM
  • Homecoming Dance, Chambers Gym, 8 PM

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