Top 10 most memorable moments of fall 2017

This semester has been one wild ride

1. University Bicentennial

The bicentennial was kind of a big deal. I mean, it only comes around once every 200 years. It brought hordes of people to Grounds, much to my annoyance as a weird, little hermit who prefers small crowds. Things were super chaotic, especially with the added security measures. Just getting to the event was hard. On the bright side, the Thomas Jefferson impersonator was super cool, and the finale with the light show and the marching band got everyone hype. Just maybe shorten the whole thing for the next centennial celebration because no one stayed for the poor Goo Goo Dolls at the end. 

2. Bowl game

I still can’t believe we’re going to a bowl game for the first time since 2011. After years and years of failure, I never thought we’d get out of this rut, but Bronco Mendenhall is doing a great job pulling this team out of the trash can. Next year is sure to be a challenge with Kurt Benkert’s absence, but let’s face it — he was the reason I finally learned what a pick six was because he threw so many of them. So let’s rein that in a little, and maybe in 15 years or so we’ll be ready to beat Tech again. 

3. LOTL

This might be a hot take, but this was not the best Lighting of the Lawn I’ve ever seen. I was expecting something really big after the light show at the end of the bicentennial celebration, but this felt like a dud. There were no lasers and the songs left much to be desired. There were so many bops from this year that could’ve been chosen! People would have lost their freaking minds if ‘Mi Gente,’ ‘Congratulations’ or ‘Bodak Yellow’ were played, but at the same time, it would have been kind of terrifying to see all the drunks get even crazier than they already were. 

4. Democrats sweep Virginia

After the election of Donald Trump, it seemed as if Virginia was holding its breath in the upcoming gubernatorial election between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam. There were phone calls, fliers and commercials everywhere you looked. Northam had commercials detailing his success as a doctor and a veteran while Gillespie reminded us all that he knew how to pour a beer, park cars and carry four plates at once. On Nov. 7, it was announced that Northam won the election and came out with 84.79 percent of votes in the City of Charlottesville. 

5. New University president

T. Sully has had quite a rough presidential term. She was hired, fired and then rehired. People have protested outside her house, and she got a lot of heat for her response to the Aug. 11 and 12 alt-right rallies. I would be ready to retire too, but I’m also a weenie. Whether she’s made mistakes or not, you have to admit she has a tough skin. Now, we have a fancy-schmancy Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education as our next president, but don’t worry — T. Sully will still be around as a tenured professor. 

6. The mumps

Why are we even having problems with mumps? Where do they even come from? If I contracted mumps, I would literally have no idea that I got it because I’m pretty much always tired and my body hurts quite often. So get your vaccines, people! If not for the health of other people then for the potential cut you’d have to take to your party schedule if you contracted the disease. 

7. Sheetz on the Corner

Not everyone was happy with a big company buying a building on the Corner, but Sheetz is a gift for college students everywhere. Their made-to-order food is cheap, delicious and fast. The combinations are endless. You can literally put mozzarella sticks on your sandwich if you’re feeling crazy. Mess that thing up with boom boom sauce. You order on a touch screen which is fun and eliminates human contact, which is always a plus in my book. Keep on being amazing, Sheetz. I’ll keep your doors open if no one else will. 

8. Statue debacle

What a mess — am I right? Some people think we should remove the Robert E. Lee statue from Emancipation Park because it represents a history of racism and oppression. Some people counter that argument by saying removing the statue would be erasing important history and heritage. Now the statue is covered up by a giant tarp, and I honestly have no idea how they found one that big.

9.  Protests, protests and more protests

I feel like there have been more protests and counter protests this year than ever before. It all started with the alt-right march on Grounds on Aug. 11 and the following ‘Unite the Right’ protest in Emancipation Park the next day. This semester has seen various protests, like one against the decision to end DACA, students kneeling at football games and banners at the Bicentennial that read “200 Years of White Supremacy.” As you can see, we’re still working through some issues. 

10. Varsity squash

Let’s be real — I have no idea how squash is played except that there are two people in a little room smacking a ball off the wall. Would I be more inclined to learn about the game if it were played with an actual squash? Absolutely. Why is it even called squash if there isn’t a real squash involved? What I do know is that it’s the kind of game that rich doctors and lawyers are always playing on ‘Law & Order.’

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