Sitting in the geographical center of Alabama, there is a "hidden gem of the state" and that is the University of Montevallo. A small university that sits on 147 acres of land and roughly 3,100 students, Montevallo has drawn people in with its charm and history for 121 years.
There are many things that draw people in. The bricks, the small class sizes, the accreditation, the charm, the history, the opportunities, and College Night are all things that make the University o Montevallo unique from other campuses. But what is Collge Night?
For starters, let me begin by saying that trying to explain College Night to someone who doesn't know anything about the University is a bit of a trick. This article is my way trying to make it a bit easier!
College Night, to put it plainly is Montevallo's homecoming. It's also not just one night, it's a season. College Night season happens at the beginning of the Spring semester and runs through mid-February.
We don't have a football team so a long time ago, the students created their own homecoming with a theatrical twist to it. Now, this happened a LONG time ago, 99 years to be exact. College Night is the oldest homecoming tradition in the history of the United States (it was a Jeopardy question once). Next year the students who play the game of College Night will celebrate the Centennial. It's bound to be the biggest College Night season Montevallo has seen yet.
Now I mentioned "the game of College Night." That's what it is- a game. But really a better way to explain it would be "the experience of College Night." College Night is so much more than just a game, it's an experience.
There are two sides, the Gold Side and the Purple Side, who compete against each other in a variety of activities ranging from sports to theater. There is no test or special selection process to picking a side. Towards the beginning of the Fall semester, there is a College Night Mixer. Golds and Purples gather in the Student Activity Center and students who are interested in picking a side mix and mingle and then they pick whichever side they like better. There is no contract binding you to the side you pick so if you ever want to switch sides or just be "green" (neutral) you can do that!
But what happens during College Night? The two sides compete against each other in athletic events that include basketball, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, cheerleading, and then the main event- a theater production.
One of the things that makes College Night so unique is that it is completely student-led. Each side has a Cabinet that runs the whole operation. So when I say that the students do everything, I mean the students do EVERYTHING. That theater production? They are written, choreographed, budgeted, directed, and cast completely by students. Every song, every script, every costume, every set piece, etc. is done by the students. Pretty impressive right?
At the end of the College Night season, points are tallied up to determine if it will be a GV (Gold Victory) or a PV (Purple Victory). Points are earned by winning athletic games, keeping spirit points (spirit points are lost by breaking the rules, having bad sportsmanship, etc.) and then the most points are earned from the productions. Outside, unbiased show critics come and critique each show and give them a numerical grade which translates into a point number. All of the points are added up and the winners are announced on Sweet Saturday, which is the last day of the College Night season.
College Night is one of our most valued traditions at the University of Montevallo. At the end of the day, it's a friendly competition and no matter which side you're on, there is something special about playing the game of College Night.