All universities have special events that their students (and faculty) look forward to every year. At the University of Mary Washington, we have some pretty fun events that bring a lot of the students and even the community together. UMW students anticipate these five events for a lot of the year. As a student who is about to enter senior year, I am sad that I will only experience these events one more time but you can bet that I will treasure every second of them.
At the beginning of each semester, Club Carnival lets campus groups and clubs set up a table and try to get new club members. People who find an interest in a group can leave their name and email on a sign-up sheet so that the group can contact the interested student and email them information. There are hundreds of clubs and organizations at UMW. Everything from sports to animation to service/volunteer groups to politics to music. If you have an idea for a club that doesn’t exist yet, you can go through the process and create it!
Lip Sync is held in the fall semester and is one of the first big events in the new school year. I’ll admit when I first heard of this event, I thought it sounded kind of dumb and considered not going. I could not be happier that I changed my mind and went because it turned out to be my favorite event at UMW. Students create groups and a performance (usually a mash-up of several songs) and lip sync while dancing. There are some super creative performances. Last year’s winner was the Talk to the Hands, our American Sign Language Club. They lip synced as well as signed the songs using ASL as they performed. The hosts of Lip Sync are Class Council who perform while the judges make their decision. Class Council usually has a pretty amazing performance even though they technically aren't competing.
Multi-Cultural Fair is held in the spring semester during April and will celebrate its 27th annual fair this upcoming spring. The fair is hosted by the Multicultural Center at UMW but involves the whole Fredericksburg community as well as UMW. Groups from UMW and the surrounding community dance and sing on stages located throughout campus. Organizations set up tables along Campus Walk and sell products or inform visitors of causes or services. Food trucks park on Ball Circle and sell food that you can smell from across campus. Thousands of people visit UMW this Saturday and it’s the most crowded you will ever see campus. A lot of work goes into this event (such as waking up at 5am to help set up) and it shows with how successful the fair is every year.
Mr. UMW is hosted by the Association of Residence Halls, which I was Historian of this past year and will be the Publicity Chair this upcoming year. Mr. UMW is a parody of a women’s beauty contest because UMW was originally an all-women’s college (as a sister school to the all-male University of Virginia). Each residence hall is represented by one male student and the commuters also are represented by one male. The guys “compete” in sections related to whatever theme ARH has created for that year. Last year our theme was Superheroes vs. Supervillains and the year before was Disney Princes. You’ll have to come to UMW this spring to find out this year’s theme and watch the boys battle it out!
One of the longest (if not the longest) running traditions at UMW, Devil-Goat Day happens on the last Thursday of classes during the spring semester. The Devils are odd graduation years, represented by the color red and the Goats are even year graduates, represented by the color green. The Devils and Goats battle for bragging rights on various obstacle courses and inflatables on Ball Circle. Students get a free t-shirt for their team. The line for these shirts start long before the games begin and some students even skip class to get a shirt. My first year the Goats won after a seven year losing streak but the Devils regained our glory this past spring!