Could the Super Bowl 2023 be at Vassar College? We could make it happen now that student organizations can perform halftime shows at sporting events. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Vassar Student Association (VSA) announced last week that Vassar now has live, free entertainment at sporting events. I don’t know about you, but the only reason I watch the Super Bowl is not for the sweaty guys pushing each other over in an attempt to get a ball across a tiny white line (at least I’m pretty sure that is the goal of football). I’m much more interested in the halftime show: a fun, engaging event that sometimes has people ziplining in from the roof just like Lady Gaga (if you missed her 2017 Super Bowl halftime performance, go watch it right now).
At Vassar, lots of sporting teams—women’s volleyball, women’s and men’s soccer, women’s rugby, just to name a few—are giving people that same opportunity to perform, maybe minus the giant zipline. As a smaller liberal arts school, while there are many student-athletes, sporting events are not as big compared to the ones at larger state schools. The halftime shows will allow for a mixing of sports and art, combining two important aspects of Vassar.
Trina Chou ’23, the captain of the women’s lacrosse team and the VSA liaison for the SAAC, explained the benefits of this program, saying, “The VSA Athletics Committee ever since being formed last year has had the goal of trying to connect student athletes to non-student-athletes on campus.” As a liaison, Chou is able to coordinate between the student organizations and the sports teams helping to get the halftime shows off the ground. She is also the co-chair of the VSA Athletics Committee, along with Kyle Flynn ’23.
When asked about the decision to start halftime shows, Chou noted, “One of the things that was brought up was halftime shows, given that they provide the unique opportunity for organizations to perform, and also help to drive athletic attendance.” Student organizations that perform are given the opportunity to showcase their work for a new audience. It also allows for more collaboration between the student organizations and sports teams.
Chou said, “There have actually been halftime performances in the past at Vassar…and they’ve demonstrated to be a great way for the whole campus to come together.” She also added, “Because leadership changes every year, some things get lost and I think organizing halftime shows was one of them.” There also could be a wide range of groups performing: dance orgs, student bands, a capella groups (it’s the perfect opportunity for a “Pitch Perfect” inspired riff-off) or even a stand-up comedy and improv showcase. The possibilities are endless.
There are already multiple organizations interested in performing, such as the acapella group Measure4Measure, but before groups can take the stage, field arrangements and logistics need to be worked out by Chou along with field manager and baseball coach Blayne Fuke. This new opportunity is expected to launch by the spring semester of this year, but planning is already underway for performances at games starting in October. There could even be specific themes for different halftime shows, giving the chance for multiple organizations to perform. The games and their halftime shows could also be promoted together.
While most people associate halftime shows with football games, having these performances in other sporting events fosters an engaging atmosphere from the basketball courts to the rugby field. Rebecca Gutierrez ‘26, who is on the women’s volleyball team, said “The halftime shows would add more spirit and energy to the court and make it even more fun and interactive for the people in the stands.” Also, I personally think having great halftime performances will make our rival schools jealous and intimidate them, especially if there is a crowd of adoring fans; so it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Chou ended with saying, “I hope these halftime shows can be a fun way for Vassar students to support their friends, whether it’s through a halftime performance or a sports game.” The Super Bowl halftime shows better watch out now that Vassar’s are here.