Winterfest Awakens Jasper Nation

by ALYSSA VELAZQUEZ, Production Editor

The Battle of the Bronx is an event that many look forward to watching as the Manhattan College Jaspers face off against their local rivals, the Fordham University Rams. However, this year there was more the fans had to look forward to when it came to gameday.

On Saturday, Dec. 1 the first Manhattan College Winterfest was held by Manhattan College Athletics and sponsored by the Student Government Association in Draddy Gymnasium before the start of the men’s basketball game.

Students, faculty, and people from the surrounding community all gathered together to take part in the festivities. From having arts and crafts, live music, food trucks and a visit from Santa, everyone was starting the holiday season the way it should be, together as a community.

In years prior, there was always a focus on having themes and special events set on gamedays for different collegiate sports to encourage both student and community participation and to show support for the hard-working student-athletes. Winterfest, however, was an event that could potentially become another yearly tradition as evident by the turnout of Jasper Nation.

As anticipated, this event was not something that could be done in a few days. The brainstorming started back in the spring semester of 2018 and really began shaping up early on in this current semester.

Haley Nightingale, VP of Club Administration, explained how she would meet with Whitney Swab, the Associate Athletic Director for Marketing at Manhattan College, throughout the semester to create plans for the Manhattan versus Fordham game.

Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 1.48.54 PM
Festivities included a giant snow globe (TOP) and free face painting (BOTTOM). @GOJASPERSMARKETING INSTAGRAM / COURTESY

“Having Winterfest [during the Battle of the Bronx] attracts people to come… the fact that it is such a big game, there was already going to be a lot of people here, so the entire environment would just be energetic and filled for the afternoon,” stated Nightingale.

Ryan Kwiecinski, VP of Finance, added that “with winter break coming up soon we wanted to make sure that we end on a high note and for students to come together and body the Jasper spirit.”

From the inflatable snow globe that people could climb in, to characters from the movie Frozen visiting the college campus, Kwiecinski emphasized his thoughts on the event by stating, “I love everything about it. It’s giving the Christmas vibes and getting everybody ready for the holiday season.”

Jaclyn Leighton, a marketing intern for Manhattan College Athletics,  emphasized the goal of reaching out to the community and explained how Winterfest is one of the steps that Manhattan College Athletics has taken toward achieving this goal.

“One of our main projects is community outreach, so we really wanted to get the community involved in an event that combines both Manhattan College and the holiday season” said Leighton.

Kwiecinski highlighted this goal.

“One of the big things that [student government] wanted to do was to bring athletics and the rest of campus closer together, but also the community as well,” said Kwiecinski.

As the festivities continued, more students and members of the community joined together to celebrate and have a good time before the start of one of the most anticipated games of the basketball season.

For the future, the Manhattan College community can expect more themed games and events that help bring everyone together to support the Jasper student-athletes. Leighton added that the marketing team is working hard and looking forward to future events that will be done in collaboration with student government. The marketing team’s main slogan as Leighton described is, “Where are you Jasper Nation?”

With the turnout that Winterfest had, it’s clear that Jasper Nation is here and proud to be wearing the bold and bright green and white to support their fellow Jaspers.