Staff Editorial: Don’t stop the madness

University officials are considering ending a tradition. The decision to nix Midnight Madness should be weighed seriously, as students do not always take kindly to ending traditions.

Officials agree with prior Hatchet editorials that sideshows at the annual event overshadow its supposed focus on basketball. But the proposal to replace it with a low-key, basketball-orientated affair that has nothing to do with midnight is far off the other end of the spectrum.

Midnight Madness has mutated into a hoopla at which basketball is little more than an afterthought. This year, the basketball team did not even come out until well after midnight – after many students already left and those who stayed forgot why they were there in the first place.

The answer is to completely overhaul Midnight Madness to bring attention back to the men’s and women’s basketball teams and away from glossy sideshows. The students – the fans – deserve some form of midnight madness. If game attendance is any marker, student interest in basketball is at a high point in our already-fragile school spirit. Fans would be ill served by a low-key program that officials say would probably take place in the Health and Wellness Center.

The athletic department and Student Activities Center need to work together to develop a program that satisfies all parties. It is easy for SAC to go overboard in their attempt to please the diverse attendants of Colonials Weekend. The administration and athletic department need to reign SAC in to focus the program on basketball and students. It should more closely resemble a high school pep rally than an episode of “American Idol.”

There is no reason for Midnight Madness to last for hours. A quick exhibition by the cheerleaders, the dance team and maybe the gymnastics team, and a fast-paced, high energy introduction and showcase of the men’s and women’s teams would go a long way – much farther than some guy dancing to burnt-out 80’s music.

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