Derby Week, a Mississippi College tradition for clubs and tribes, is just around the corner. From Mar. 17 to Mar. 22 students will be able to compete in one of their favorite activities of the year.
This year, the Council’s activities chairs, Robert Parkin and Jessa MacCallum, have worked hard to plan Derby Week, bringing back old events as well as incorporating exciting new ones. Derby Week 2014 has the potential to be the best one yet.
The kickoff Monday night is an event new to Derby Week—a cross campus relay race. Each team will consist of four people who will start on the Quad, race through a 30-foot blowup obstacle course, and then run to various locations across campus completing exciting tasks at each location.
Tuesday night will bring back an event featured in Derby Week 2011. Club and tribe members can go to New Men’s Rotunda to cheer as their members compete in an inflatable jousting competition.
Wednesday night will be a time of fun as well as service. Instead of doing a canned food drive like in previous years, this year’s charity event will feature a dodge ball tournament in the Baptist Healthplex. This event is by far Robert Parkin’s favorite activity.
“Each club and tribe will pay a small cost to enter a team in the tournament,” Parkin said. “Entry fee for all spectators will only be one dollar. The winning team of the night will determine which charity the proceeds will go to.”
Swerve dance competition will be Thursday night at 8 p.m. in Swor Auditorium. This year will be Swerve’s second year as a part of Derby Week.
Dannie Woods, assistant director of Student Life for Student Activities, said, “Swerve is always one of my favorite parts of the week. It is like a mini Follies for the Spring, and the clubs and tribes work so hard. It is a great opportunity to showcase their talent.”
Every MC student is encouraged to either participate in Swerve or come out and watch. Tickets will be on sale Monday thru Thursday of Derby Week in the cafeteria for $5. Students can also buy tickets at the door that Thursday night for $7.
No events will be held on the Friday of Derby Week. It is a day for club and tribe members to rest so they can prepare for a big day on Saturday.
Saturday is officially Derby Day. The clubs and tribes will be competing with each other in various activities including tug-of-war, a food relay, and a water balloon toss just to name a few.
“I love the energy that campus is filled with that day, as well as the community feeling of all the clubs and tribes being together,” Woods said.
But head-to-head athletic competition is not the only thing the day holds. Saturday is also the tailgate competition. Each club and tribe will set up a tailgate to show their club or tribe spirit, as well as their Mississippi College pride.
One thing that will make Saturday so special this year is that it falls on a Preview Day. Perspective students will be able to catch a glimpse of what Mississippi College is all about.
The tailgate competition is definitely Jessa MacCallum’s favorite part of Derby Week.
“It shows school spirit and welcomes new students,” MacCallum said. “It is a great event to show what MC is all about and that we are proud of our school. Even though it’s a competition, it is a unifying event too. At the end, we get to see what makes up MC—different individuals and different groups working for a common purpose.”
Caleb Jett, Swannanoa’s senior beau, said, “I’m really excited for Derby Week because it’s my last big thing as senior beau. It is the one thing in the spring that you get to do with the whole tribe.
“It is so much fun, and you get to see all the clubs and tribes interact together as well. I think it’s the best part of campus all in one place.”
Although Derby Day sets clubs and tribes in competition against each other, it also serves to bring members together.
“It’s a great way to interact and have fun not only with my tribe but others as well,” Meagan Anne Willson, a junior, said. “It’s also always nice to have a little friendly competition.”
Derby Week is an MC tradition for club and tribe members. Students should lace up their tennis shoes, put on their athletic clothes, get their creative minds rolling, and get ready to come out for Derby Week 2014. It is going to be the best one yet.
– Olivia Ruple, Contributing Writer