On Friday, Oct. 18 in chilly weather as the day was ending, students gathered in their bathing suits at Kayo Field to participate in the second annual Swimsuit Sprint at the University of New Haven.
Photo Provided by Erica Naugle
Bins were filled and almost full with the clothes they had been willing to strip off and donate to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Students huddled together shivering, half from the cold and half from excitement, as they anticipated the run that was to come.
Slowly they formed a line; people at the head holding flags and raising them high, before students took off in a circle around campus, which some people did not expect to be so long. They ran past the Beckerman Rec Center, Maxcy Hall, over the UNH letters in the quad, and past Soundview. Ringing through UNH was the sound of cheering as well as the sound of tired sighs, flip flops beating on the ground, and the sound of confusion as some realized it wasn’t a direct path to the Bixler/Botwinik Quad. In the end, they all sprinted to receive their free shirts and glow in the dark bracelets. They put on their shirts and waited for the concert that some say the best of the year.
Although only a few people had heard of Chris Webby and The White Panda, a lot of students came to listen, taking in the opportunity to attend a free concert. As the time grew nearer for the artists to start, students piled in, getting closer until everyone was surrounding each other competing for the best view, keeping warm and being cooled by the night breeze.
With the lights flashing in their eyes, the beat going, and hands waving in the air as their feet hit against the ground, Chris Webby appeared on the stage. He shared things that related him to his audience; his loss of a friend, his possession of a dream, and his past life in school. In the end, there may have been very few who came already knowing about him, but many people left wanting to know more. His act was entertaining, and perhaps a respectable point was the moment he forgot the first verse to one of his songs, but kept going, joking about it afterwards.
The audience in the quad throughout the entire time kept growing, as students, who had been seen dancing and listening from their rooms, came to join in, especially when White Panda came onto the stage. Out of both the acts, White Panda seem to have been the most known.
Coming out with panda masks on their faces, with their fists in the air. The artists had the crowd feeling ecstatic; feeling the music to the point that when it was all over, they wanted more.
“The concert has been the highlight of my UNH experience so far,” said freshman student Ryan Roberts as he prepared to head to a party with more music.
For some, it was their first time doing anything like this, and it would be something they will always remember, “I loved being close to the stage and feeling the beat in my chest. I was pumped, the lights and the atmosphere were euphoric. Definitely a night I will never forget,” said freshman Ashley Lopez.
People left with their ears ringing and arms sore, but it was all worth it. So to the joined efforts of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and SCOPE, as well as many others, people owe their thanks for a well spent Friday night.