It’s 3 a.m. on a freezing November night. While most Juniata students are cozy in their dorm rooms, others are in the middle of campus, in tents. Juniata’s annual winter dinner and dance, Madrigal, brings with it an odd tradition. Students sleep in tents in the middle of campus, in order to be the first buyers of Madrigal tickets. During this time, the “head tent” coordinates challenges that the other students must participate in to earn points. While often thought of as crazy, these students tell their side of the story.
Janine Espiritu ’14, San Antonio, Texas.:
Well my friends and I tented last year and it was really fun, despite the sleep deprivation. This year we really wanted to be head tent because we thought it would be fun coming up with the challenges and judging them. From this experience I realized that being head tent is just as hard as being a regular tenter. Even though it was very tiring and we got pretty much no sleep, I think it was totally worth it. It was a lot of fun and now we have a pretty sweet seat at Madrigal.
Ryan Dempsey ’14, West Chester, Pa.:
I didn’t plan on tenting, but my friend was tenting by himself and wanted some company, so I participated for a night. It was not fun, but that was probably my fault. I didn’t come dressed for the weather, so I froze. I would think about doing it again, but with a few more layers.
Andy Blunk ‘14, State College, Pa.:
I tented because I wanted to experience doing it. Plus, I was in need of a change in scenery and people. In the end, I met a lot of people and had fun doing all of the planned events. Unfortunately, at the end of the week, I forgot to get in line for a table at the dinner. Whoops.
Jessica Rolland ’15, Downingtown, Pa.:
I decided to participate in tenting because my goal for this year was to have as many exciting life experiences as possible, and what’s more exciting than musical chairs at 5 a.m.? I learned that you have to keep a positive attitude at all times, or else 3 a.m. roll calls really suck. It was totally worth freezing my butt off in a tent because not only did I have a great week goofing off with my friends, but we also got an amazing table for the Madrigal dinner.
Joel Rhodes ’13, Huntingdon, Pa.:
When else do you get to do a talent show, campus scavenger hunts, anything-but-clothes fashion shows, scramble to be the fastest one to find Franklin the spider, try your best at baking, run across North Lawn in an animal box, and tent on campus? These are some of the greatest memories that you create when being at Juniata. I look forward to standing on the chairs in Baker with my friends to sing “five golden rings” in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” one last time for my senior year and keep the tradition alive.
-Seth Ruggiero ’14 Juniata Online Journalist