The Rustic Bridge is beautiful all year round, but it gets the most attention from students during Orientation Week. An Allegheny tradition had it that a freshman woman wasn’t truly an Alleghenian until she’d been kissed by a sophomore on the 13th plank of the Rustic Bridge, but the male freshmen found a way to thwart their upper-class rivals in romance—by stealing the 13th plank! Today both men and women vie to see who can be the first to steal the 13th plank, and our maintenance office has learned to keep a supply of extra boards on hand.
The Involvement Fair, during the first week of fall semester, showcases more than 100 clubs and organizations. The fair provides a lively setting for clubs and organizations to raise awareness about their events, recruit new members and network with others.
Each fraternity and sorority introduces its new members to the campus community at Run-Out at the beginning of fall and spring semester. New members “run out” of Brooks Hall into Brooks Circle, where they are joined by their brothers and/or sisters in a spirited serenade.
Gator Activities Programming (GAP) hosts this popular event in September. More than 4,000 chicken wings from local establishments are served, and vegan options are also available. Students line up early to receive a free Wingfest t-shirt while listening to rockin’ tunes, and student teams register in advance to participate in a wing-eating contest. Everyone is welcome to join the costumed chicken—in the chicken dance, of course—for the chance to win additional prizes.
Make a Difference Day
Make a Difference Day (MADD) generally occurs in October. Five-to-seven hundred Allegheny students work alongside a comparable number of community members to complete more than 125 projects in the local area. Projects range from raking leaves to painting houses to building wheelchair ramps.
Allegheny Homecoming brings out the blue and gold—and Gator pride! Homecoming festivities include Saturday athletic contests, the Tail-Gator luncheon, free t-shirts, spirit item giveaways, and other activities sponsored by the Major Events Committee (MEC).
At Greek Sing, on Friday night of Family Weekend, each fraternity and sorority performs for seven to ten minutes to choreographed songs, singing, lip-syncing or performing short acts. Greek Sing is family friendly and, whether you’re Greek or not, a must-see at Allegheny.
Orchesis Dance Performance
With more than 100 dancers, Orchesis is an entirely student-run performance occurring in early November. Student choreographers create energetic and engaging performances in all types of genres including jazz, step, lyrical, AfroModern, tap and ballet. Near-capacity crowds of friends and family cheer for their favorite dancers. Each night’s show ends with the Senior piece: every senior, regardless of previous dance experience, is invited to participate.
Student-Athlete Talent Show
A popular event where varsity sports teams compete in a talent show. Teams summoning their coaches to be a part of the skit receive additional points. Hosted by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the show occurs near the end of fall semester in Shafer Auditorium. Donations are accepted for the Special Olympics of Crawford County.
Late Night Breakfast
The Late Night Breakfast starts at 10 p.m. at Brooks Dining Hall on the evening of each semester’s study day. Faculty and staff join Parkhurst employees to prepare and serve popular breakfast foods and to clean up afterwards—all to show their support of students as they head into finals week. Your favorite professor may be cooking French toast sticks, dishing out scrambled eggs and sausage, or washing dishes.
Every other year the Major Events Committee (MEC) hosts a major event. The student body is surveyed about the event and then MEC works on booking the event based on student body opinion. Tickets are first offered to students at a reduced price and then to the general public. Past performers have included Dave Matthews, Adam Sandler, Jimmy Fallon, Ben Folds, The Fray, and Tegan and Sara.
SAMS (Students for the Awareness of Multiple Sclerosis), an annual lip-sync contest in March, is coordinated by the Greek community to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. All groups/organizations are invited to participate in this competitive, highly entertaining event.
April’s Springfest weekend is organized by the Major Events Committee (MEC). Activities, often tied to Springfest’s annual theme, can include musical acts, entertainment, games, free food and t-shirts. All clubs and organizations are encouraged to host activities. Allegheny first held a spring festival in 1929, when the weekend’s activities centered on the selection of a May Queen and her court.
A long-standing Greek tradition, pinnings typically occur during the latter half of spring semester, when a fraternity brother publicly professes his commitment to his girlfriend. The brothers of the fraternity process across campus to Brooks Hall, where the sorority sisters are waiting on the balcony. The men serenade the girl to be pinned with a song or two, and the brother climbs up the front doors of Brooks to the balcony and gives his fraternity pin to his girlfriend. The Rustic Bridge has become another location used for pinning ceremonies.
Relay for Life
Relay for Life at Allegheny College is a student-organized event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. During the 12-hour event in April, participants walk laps on Brooks Walk, which is bordered with luminaries as well as colorful campsites for Allegheny’s participating teams. The teams host fundraising activities such as bake sales and carnival games to raise money. The event concludes with a candlelight vigil and walk.
The annual Trashion Show, sponsored in April by Students for Environmental Action, is open to anyone who wants to design and/or model a fashion made from trash or recycled materials. This popular event reinforces Allegheny’s ethic of sustainability while showcasing the creativity of our students. Fashions in past shows have included a stunning dress made from a black garbage bag and red Solo cups—and an outfit crafted from banana peels.
Senior Week, which is planned by the Senior Week Committee, occurs during the three days between finals and commencement. Events change each year but typically include a dinner with menu items from local restaurants, a tour of select Meadville establishments, a formal dinner with a champagne toast and dancing, and an official class t-shirt. “The Burning of the Comps,” the revival of an old college tradition dating back at least to the late 1800s, celebrates that seniors’ academic work at Allegheny is finished. (But don’t worry: copies of all comps are still kept by the College.)