By Abigail Laroy
Davenport Derby is a tradition that has been beloved by Malone students since the 1960’s. Every September, students round up their teams, pick a theme, and go all out decorating their couches – and themselves- for a race behind the Centennial Center. However, a lot goes into preparation behind the scenes before the couches start rolling, and things this year, things are being done a bit differently. In previous years, the derby has been led by Student Activities Council (SAC), but set up for the event this year has been more student led. SAC was still involved this year with advertising and spreading the word to get students involved. The Derby is especially exciting for incoming freshmen who have never experienced the event before, but overall the tradition is a peak point of the semester for all students. “I think the overall goal behind it is to show students that you can have fun doing all sorts of things, you just have to be creative and give something a chance…we want to create something that students can make memories out of,’’ said Logan Hanson, staff advisor of Student Activities Council. This year, the derby was judged by Kat Gritter, Annie st. John, Steve Garret, and Dr. Miller. Every residence hall on campus and a few guests participated in the race this year. Kaela Giether, RA of WWF, was able to tell me a little bit about their theme for the year, Rubba Dub-dub in a Tubba tub-tub. The theme was inspired by WWF’s motto of self care and how it can be something fun and exciting. The rhyming scheme was also played a role in deciding on a theme. In order to prepare for the derby, WWF split up into two teams. One team was in charge of gathering supplies and decorating the couch, while the other team had the priority of rallying supporters and getting the word out. To anyone who has not yet participated, Giether recommends that they take a step out of their comfort and give it a shot, because they get to have fun with people around them and make memories. “Nothing spells community more than pushing a couch together.”, Giether, senior, Integrated Language Arts major. Although there were many fantastic teams competing , this year’s winner of The Golden Wheel was the VSCO girls of Blossom Hall. Seneca Ransom was a first time participant in the Davenport Derby. She says her favorite part of the derby was the actual race itself. “ It was so much fun pushing the couch. We were all so excited and our adrenaline was pumping. We were all laughing, it was awesome,” said Ransom, freshman Communication Arts major. The girls from Blossom were dressed as stereotypical “VSCO Girls,” decked out in their oversized t-shirts, messy buns, scrunchies, crocs, birkenstock sandals, and hydroflasks. The Blossom VSCO girls came in first place for the race, but some have had suspicions of cheating. When asked Ransom about these allegations, she responded with, “They hate us cause they ain’t us!” There was a change in rules this year, where unlike years prior, not every team member had to go all the way around the cones, as long as all team members crossed the finish line before the other team. While this may have caused some turmoil, the point of the Davenport Derby is to build community and bring Malone students, faculty, and staff together to celebrate a long lasting tradition. “At the end of the day, it’s all about community. We had a lot of fun and I congratulate all the other teams. We took off important homework time to celebrate the Malone tradition and I look forward to it in the years to come,” said Ransom. Davenport 2019 was a fun and exciting with all of the different themes and teams. It’s a grand tradition with many more great years to come.