A Postponed Airbands Makes Its Return

The date for the annual Airbands show has been moved to October 2 at 6 p.m. between the Michael P. O’Brien ARC (Athletic and Recreation Center) and the tennis courts, a change from its usual location on the Campus Center patio.

Airbands is a St. Mary’s First-year Orientation tradition in which the Orientation Leaders perform a show, which includes music, dancing, and dress-up, on the last night of Orientation Weekend. Unfortunately, “Hurricane Irene trumped the original Airbands date,” said Sola Ogundele, the Orientation coordinator.

The entire campus was in lock-down mode due to the hurricane’s inclement weather on August 27, the day Airbands was originally supposed to occur.

This weekend, Airbands will be performed rain or shine. The stage will be set up beneath an outdoor events tent, which will deter any rain. “We’re still going to have lights, music, and hot pink shirts, which the OL’s will be wearing around campus to promote the event,” says Ogundele.

Another concern for the Orientation team is the addition of upperclassmen to the audience. “A lot of returning students will come and see their friends perform, so yes, I expect a bigger crowd,” says Orientation co-chair and senior Caitlin Fowler. Airbands is usually held before most of the returning students arrive on campus, so Airbands’ intended audience of first-year students make up the majority of attendees.

“We are still sticking to our Substance-Free theme, so none of the skits will have alcohol or drug related things in them,” says Fowler. The Airbands event itself will also be substance-free, and the Orientation team asks that all attendees be respectful of this theme. Ogundele says that “if anyone shows up with any drugs or alcohol, they will be dealt with accordingly” by campus activities volunteers or Public Safety.

Although Orientation Weekend has already ended, the Orientation committee agrees that Airbands is such an important event for the first-years and Orientation Leaders that it could not have been canceled for good. “It’s something special that the OL’s do for their orientees, and there will be plenty of free t-shirts,” says Ogundele. Adds Fowler, “The OL’s worked hard on their routines, so for them to not be able to perform would be an absolute shame.”

Airbands is set to be just as silly and creative as it has been in previous years, and it will be a nice break for the first-year students buckling down for their first year of college academics. “I think it is important for the first-years to see just how goofy, light-hearted, and fun the OL’s can be. Airbands is usually a favorite for everyone so I think not to have it would be very sad,” said Fowler.

First-year student Megan Dower echoes the sentiments of many other first-years, who are excited to finally see the show that their OL’s have been talking about since their first day on campus. “My OLs told me it’d be hilarious and fun to go to, so I’m glad it’s still on next weekend,” she said.

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