Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Days on the Hilltop

Heinous Homecoming Heckles

Red Square, lying at the crossroads between the scenic center of campus and the aesthetically challenged Reiss-Leavey-Medical Center quadrant of campus, can’t help but be designated the heart of campus. Virtually everyone has to cross its red patio with the huge arch forming a choke point, funneling students from the north campus sidewalks out onto the expanse of Copley Lawn.

But Red Square lost its titular value Friday, as the ever Saxa-zealous Hoya Blue covered the huge square with a block of water-soluble white paint. Only the huge words “Hoya Blue” were blocked out of the white box, the only remaining scraps of vermilion in Red Square.

So began a ridiculous Homecoming. Not to knock school spirit – God knows that Georgetown needs it – but the retaking of Red Square by Hoya Blue was, well, just silly.

For starters, water-soluble paint equals cheap paint. By noon, the paint was tracked across campus by anyone and everyone that trotted across the square. White footprints lined every walkway across campus. All of a sudden, the campus was a giant ballroom dancing lesson.

The hard working – and under-appreciated – guys in facilities looked at the square in utter disbelief. They have to clean the mess up. I can only imagine the expression on University Provost Dorothy Brown’s face as she looked out her window in ICC and down over “white square.” After battling the leaflet “problem,” installing ever-present, always-ignored electronic billboards on campus and bullying student groups into refraining to use chalk on even the smallest nook or cranny on campus, the words “Hoya Blue” must have mocked her from the ground.

The most confusing part of the display was the group’s selection of colors. They are called Hoya Blue. The school colors are blue and gray. But the lettering sure looked white to me. Obviously, stupidity is colorblind.

But stupidity wasn’t confined to the former Red Square – it made its way over to the Homecoming dance at the Omni Shoreham Hotel Saturday night.

The dance’s problems began with its location. Last year, the National Press Club set the scene. Two years ago the cavernous, marble-covered walls of the Postal Museum enclosed the event. This year we got the back room of the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Sexy location, huh? Kinda makes you feel warm and tingly. It reminded me of a sweet 16 party.

The situation didn’t improve inside the dance. WGTB’s brilliant DJs had a tough time figuring how to work the big CD player with two huge speakers attached. After a few false starts of Abba’s “Dancing Queen,” the DJ dropped “YMCA” into the machine and alternated the introductory bars of each before shutting down the music for five minutes.

But the DJs recovered from their technical mishaps – even entreating the dancers to a 10-minute mambo medley, where the Joes and Janes stumbled over their own feet, bumped into each other and conclusively proved that Georgetown lacks rhythm.

The part of the dance that didn’t recover was the lovely “beer garden” that the university saw fit to install, herding the 21-and-over crowd into the corral, complete with white fencing. That was my favorite part – standing on one side of the lattice fence, shouting at an underage friend on the other side of the fence, over a three-foot-wide “no man’s land.” It reminded me of Berlin.

So the cattle grazed in the corral, sucking from Mama alcohol vender to the tune of $5.50 a slurp. After guzzling down a drink, they would leave East Berlin in search of that Britney Spears beat. Then it was back to the corral for an alcohol hit. Romantic? Sure.

Of course there was more to the dance than ridiculous drinking regulations and bad, sweet-16 DJ-ing. When the wobbly lattice collapsed on my girlfriend, knocking her drink across the room, I sure was smiling. When a potted plant that decorated the corral fence toppled onto me, I was ecstatic. I left the room and some girl, obviously preoccupied with Cristina Aguliera’s insightful crooning, spilled my glass of water all over my suit, I jumped for joy.

When one friend, well past 21, opened his sport coat to show me how he armed himself with a plethora of 60 cent bottles of gin and vodka, I could only laugh. Georgetown, from red, white and Hoya Blue square to the segregated Homecoming dance/sweet 16, the weekend was defined by the absurd.

I would have asked the Homecoming folks for my 15 bucks back, if I didn’t realize that Georgetown needs it more than I do.

Days on the Hilltop appears Tuesdays in The Hoya.

Other articles by DiLiberto: Experience with the LSATs: Deciding to Live Against the Law (10/05/99) Coming of Age: Haven’t I Been Here Before? (09/28/99) Doomed to Live Up to the Mediocrity of Its Name (09/21/99) Small Conversations with Large Meanings (09/14/99) (Your Name Here) If the Price Is Right (09/03/99)

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