Basketball season will officially kick off Oct. 12 at Colonial Invasion. But this year, students will rally at Colonial Invasion at Fort Myer, Va. at the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
The annual event is meant to build excitement and enthusiasm around the men and women’s basketball teams, but this year it will function as both the starting mark of the basketball season and an honor to members of the military, athletic director Patrick Nero told The Hatchet.
But holding a campus tradition at an off-campus location is counterintuitive.
At a University that struggles to instill a sense of excitement around its athletic programs, hosting Colonial Invasion – virtually the largest campus pep rally – away from its home is a poor decision.
Asking students to take buses to Virginia – even if they are free – is still a deterrent to those who might have only attended because the Smith Center is near residence halls or dinner spots.
In the past, the University has demonstrated its support of members of the military through initiatives like the Yellow Ribbon Program. But hosting Colonial Invasion at a military base seems self-indulgent. Colonial Invasion is a spirit-building rally. It’s purpose is to promote the University rather than pay homage to the men and women who serve our country.
Holding a basketball rally at a military base aligns with neither the goal of boosting school spirit nor honoring our troops.
We support the troops and the University’s endeavors to honor their commitment to our country. But a weekend focused around students is not the time to highlight the efforts of men and women of our armed forces.
This article was updated Sept. 13, 2012 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Colonial Invasion will take place on Colonials Weekend. In fact, Colonials Weekend is scheduled for the following weekend. We regret this error.