The spirit week leading up to the Lehigh Lafayette game is being restructured this year because the game is being played in New York City. (Kerry Mallett/B&W photo)

Spirit week events altered for 150th rivalry game

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This November, Lehigh-Lafayette Week events will take place earlier than in past years as Lehigh gears up to celebrate the 150th rivalry game at Yankee Stadium.

The events will run from Nov. 13 to Nov. 19, and aim to rally school spirit on campus through sports games, promotions and a newly improved bed races event. Lehigh-Laf Week is planned by a committee of members from various organizations, including the Association of Student Alumni, Student Senate, the Student-Athlete Council and staff from the athletics department and dean of students office. who work together to organize spirit week events.

“There are not going to be any events on campus Thursday, Friday or Saturday of the week because we are leaving those days for students to get prepared to go to New York,” said Shannon Varcoe, president of ASA.

The annual Turkey Trot is one of the events that will occur the previous week, on Nov. 13. The Turkey Trot, a 2.4-mile race, is one of the longest traditions on Lehigh’s campus. It has been held for more than 55 years.

Jane Josephson, director of intramural sports in the athletic department, is organizing the race. She said it will start at 4:20 p.m. at Packer Memorial Church and end on the University Center front lawn. The race also offers a 1-mile walk option designed for participants that are “Too Hot to Trot.”

On Nov. 14, the men’s basketball team will play Villanova University at Allentown’s new PPL center. One hundred student tickets became available for sale last Friday. Varcoe said she thinks the game will be a big school spirit event because it’s the first college basketball game played in the brand-new arena.

Following the weekend, on Nov. 17, Marching 97 members will play their instruments and march through Lehigh classrooms. Band members will parade into lectures, stand on desks and skip through the library during what they call the “eco flame.”

Varcoe said the main highlight of the week is a special bed races event on Nov. 19.

“If you remember from last year, all of the beds broke down, and we had to cancel bed races halfway through,” Varcoe said. “So we actually had engineers, people from the Baker Institute and the Wilbur Powerhouse create custom welded steel racing beds.”

The improved beds are not only durable but also have steering ability. Addison Jenkins, ’15, said he is looking forward to participating in bed races. He said he thinks it will be more exciting because participants will be racing a longer course and using beds specifically built for racing.

Teams will consist of five members, but three people will push and two will ride this year. Team registration starts Nov. 3 and lasts until Nov. 14. Following the races, there will be a campus-wide barbecue on the front lawn.

Although Lehigh’s annual spirit week rallies student support, some find that it is one of the only weeks there is spirit on campus.

“I have been here for over 26 years, and the only time students and other members of the Lehigh community come out to support our team and show pride to be a Lehigh community member is for one game a year,” Josephson said.

Many students and staff on campus hope to change this and encourage school spirit all the time.

“I think everyone is proud to go to Lehigh, but we definitely need more school spirit at all of our athletic events,” Ben vanSchaayk, ’15, said. “I hope the energy and pride at this year’s game can continue throughout the year.”

ASA is running a campaign to sell 150-year logo brown and white scarves to the Lehigh community. Scarves are on sale for $10 cash only for the rest of the semester leading up to Lehigh-Laf week.

“We hope that people wear the scarves around campus throughout the months of November and December, but this is something that can last all year long,” Varcoe said.

“Like” Lehigh ASA on Facebook and Twitter to receive updates and more information about Lehigh-Laf week.

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