From the 2021 College Night Leaders:
As with institutions, traditions must also change to adapt to these challenging times. The College Night Leaders in coordination with advisers from the College Night Committee have developed a plan in to celebrate this tradition in accordance with safety standards set forth by the CDC and University officials.
In most instances, forward-thinking would be the standard for problem-solving; however, in this instance, we have found the solution is our rich history. Next year (2021), the Purple and Gold Sides will celebrate their 100th year and our institution will celebrate its 125th. To honor our College Night ancestors, we have chosen to return to a modified format of the late 1920s. In honor of our alma mater, we have further resolved to “play” as one side—both Purples and Golds together. Our winner will be College Night and the University of Montevallo.
Once a College Night script is submitted, it becomes property of the University of Montevallo. This year’s leadership would like to review the scripts that were not chosen to create the “untold stories” of College Night. From those scripts, the collective Sides will develop three original songs, three dances scenes, and three scripted scenes with a minimal number of participants safely distanced—the normal one hour and 15-minute production will be cut in half to reduce exposure. Also, we will rely heavily on props rather than build elaborate sets.
The majority of rehearsals will rely on video-conferencing and Sides will rehearse in person only when it is time to stage the production (with less than 20 members gathered and properly distanced for vocals and dialogue). The show will be pre-recorded in small segments with virtual delivery.
Additionally, we will request a student safety team to assist with maintaining specific guidelines that will be developed to govern activities. There will also be oversight from the CN committee to ensure precautions are observed.
Other pre-production activities will be awarded points; among these are sign, business, eligibility, spirit, production book, and cheerleading. These points will not be used to determine a winner, rather it is more in the spirit of achieving our best.
Also, we are in the process of modifying our athletic offerings. Currently, e-sports and other no-contact sports are being considered. Cheerleading will be modified to adhere to social-distancing guidelines.
Finally, as College Night works hand-in-hand with Homecoming, it is our intention to release the video in conjunction with those activities.
2021 Event Information
In March 2021, College Night will look significantly different than it has in the past, as the Purple and Gold leaders have developed a plan to celebrate the tradition while staying safe during the pandemic.
College Night leaders, in coordination with advisors from the College Night Committee and University administration, finalized the plan in early October.
During College Night, which will be held virtually from March 10-13, the Purple and Gold Sides will celebrate their 100th year and UM will celebrate its 125th. To honor past College Nights, the side leaders have chosen to return to a modified format of the late 1920s. In honor of the University weathering the unprecedented times of COVID-19, the side leaders have also agreed to play as one side — both Purples and Golds together. The ultimate winner will be College Night and the University.
College Night and Homecoming are being held one month later than normal in 2021 to allow students time to settle into the spring semester, complete necessary COVID-19 re-entry testing and to allow for a safer rehearsal schedule for the College Night participants.
This year’s side leaders will review scripts not chosen for previous College Night performances to create the untold stories of College Night. From those scripts, the collective sides will develop three original songs, three dances scenes and three scripted scenes with a minimal number of participants safely distanced. The normal one hour and 15-minute production will be cut in half to reduce exposure.
Purple Side leaders Lavaun Thompson and Brey Hamblin said they were determined to keep the College Night tradition alive for 2021 while showcasing the unity the Montevallo family has displayed while overcoming the pandemic.
“Going into this, Brey and I both knew we had to make sure that College Night happened this year. During this time of uncertainty, when no one truly knows what is going on, we wanted College Night to be a constant in all of the students’ lives, something they didn’t have to give up. Keeping College Night alive safely became our biggest concern,” Thompson said. “We also knew that due to the current state of the world and especially the United States, that this year really begged for us to show love, compassion and unity. We wanted this year’s College Night to be a time of healing where we can all come together and make an amazing project.”
Gold Side leaders Abby Jo Askins and Jonathan Everheart echoed their Purple Side counterparts.
“During these troubling times, the spirit of College Night has continued to shine through. As far as combining the sides goes, the unity between the two sides has truly been an incredible experience that no other set of leaders has gotten the chance to be a part of,” Askins said. “The College Night committee has been imperative to the planning of keeping everyone involved safe during the 2021 celebration. We’re excited to see where this year takes us, and GV to all of the loyal Golds.”
The side leaders’ plans have the full support of the College Night Committee.