Dunk contests, student performances, and ticket giveaways brought the “bison madness” to Burr Gymnasium Monday evening.
Students began lining up outside of the gym well before the event began for a taste of the Howard Homecoming spirit. Students were entertained while waiting in line with a DJ and live performances. Sophomore Tenysia Rivera explained that the Bison Madness Pep Rally was a crucial experience to start the week. “I stopped what I was doing to come here...this will really pick you up after all the things I’ve been going through with these midterms,” she said.
The Howard University Athletics Department did not disappoint.
Alumni and students flooded the stands and the Howard University Marching Band got everyone out of their seats with songs by popular artist Megan Thee Stallion. “I’m a Showtime fan from now on,” said senior Hadiyah Cummings, “they stepped it up for Homecoming.” The crowd danced along with the band to the Bison classic “Talkin’ Out the Side of Your Neck” by Cameo.
The excitement continued with the cheerleaders stunning the audience as they flew into the air, and the Bisonettes beginning their dance number by entering from the stands.
HU Athletics shined on the court with well-wishes for the Football Team in the Homecoming game against Norfolk State and the introduction of the Men’s and Women’s 2019 Basketball Teams.
The crowd was laser-focused during the Men’s Basketball Dunk Contest while the Women’s Basketball Team jokingly gave 7s from the sidelines. Sophomore player C.J. Williams brought the crowd to their feet with a successful slam dunk after jumping over a fellow teammate. Host Mechie So Crazy was so impressed while judging that he was falling out of his seat. Even the Women’s Team had to give Williams’ performance a perfect score.
The energy was high between performances with t-shirt giveaways, two lucky students receiving free tickets to the Fashion Show and two more students receiving tickets to the Greek Step Show.
Students danced together from across the stands and sang along to the music provided by Howard Alumna DJ Kidd Fresh.
Alumnus Loick St Louis danced courtside for the entire event, explaining that he comes to the pep rally every year to bring back the “old energy.” “Once we teach the youngins, then they’re going to be able to pick it up and it’s gonna be generational.”
St Louis described the energy at Bison Madness as formidable. “Outstanding vibes, everyone had a great time,” he said.
Students left the pep rally in excitement for the rest of the week. Tickets for the advanced screening of Queen and Slim for Tuesday evening sold out in one hour and five minutes. Yardfest remains a much-anticipated event.
“I hope it doesn’t rain this year,” said Rivera, “so it can be even more lit!”