Manchester University
Oak Leaves

March 9, 2018

Junior Mugging 3

From left to right: Juniors Abby McVay, Madeline Leinweber, Britanie Jernigan, Stormy Buck and Jessica Baber.

Photo by Tiffany Byers

Students Explore Upstairs Admin Building During Junior Mugging Event

Teresa Masteller  

Wampler Auditorium was filled with the Manchester University Class of 2019 on Wednesday, Feb. 28, as the Junior Mugging Event welcomed them to class-bonding activities, a walking-taco bar, a tour of the third-floor Administration building, a performance by the Acme Blues Band and, as the event name suggests, a gift of a mug.

Breakfast-themed word-search puzzles, crayons, decks of cards, and various other simple party games littered long tables with plenty of seats for the junior class.  The Acme Blues Band played on stage with a slideshow behind them featuring photos of students, and encouraging messages such as “You have already accomplished so much. You are almost halfway done with your first year of college. Welcome to the mission.”

As the juniors are now in their third year, this was definitely a typo. Someone may not have double-checked the slideshow, but the encouragement was still felt by the crowd as students were seen giggling about the mistake.

Lauren Rodts, one of the STAT (Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow) students for the alumni office, gave a short speech before introducing a class-building exercise to the students.

Rodts’ speech was adapted from the speech written by Tate Wooding, a senior, at last year’s Junior Mugging Event. “I think the importance or desired impact of that speech is to remind everyone how much we have changed and grown in the last three years,” Rodts said. “It is to remind the students how our connection with Manchester is one of a kind. We’re all comfortably able to call Manchester home and no matter where we end up in life, we can always come back ‘home.’”

After the speech, Rodts invited everyone to sit with their SOL (Student Orientation Leader) groups. These SOL groups were arranged during the students’ first year on campus during Welcome Week. For many, these SOL groups were their first sense of community as Manchester students.

SOL groups sat together to catch up and reminisce as the Acme Blues band continued to play and the walking-taco bar was opened. After students finished eating and catching up, they were welcomed to the third floor of the Administration building to explore the hallways, the vintage faculty offices and old classrooms.

Fairy lights dimly lit the hallway for crowds of students to test different door handles with the hope of them all being unlocked, which most of them were. Bulletin boards in the hallway were decorated with old Oak Leaves articles, some dating back to the 1940s. Most of the rooms were empty, with the occasional box of books left behind, and the not-so occasional dustbunny that took refuge wherever it wanted.

Students even chose to explore a room so dusty that footprints can be seen left on the floor. This is the old executive board’s office; the room most likely gained students’ attention due to the large Spartan head mural on the wall, accompanied by signatures of graduated boys.

Perhaps the most exciting destination of the night was the bell tower. Students who at first were too scared to enter the chilly chime room soon crowded the dark and dusty space so much that other students couldn’t escape. Shrills and loud booms filled the room as somewhere, somehow students started ringing the bells. But soon as all was well, the junior class used their interesting (and loud) communication skills to sort everything out, and the crowd safely dispersed.

After the exploration of the third floor, students gathered back in Wampler Auditorium to claim their promised mug. Before the event ended around 9 p.m., students got their “mugshot” taken as they posed with their new memento.