Natalie MacPhee Herald Contributor – The air smelled of a classic, autumn bonfire on the night of Friday, September 9, on the Rugby Field–except this was no mediocre bonfire. Students and the campus community were eager to join in on the various festivities in celebrating the coming of the fall season, as well as a new year of fall sports. The annual Roger Williams University bonfire is hosted by the Campus Entertainment Network to celebrate all varsity and club sport athletes, and it is quite an event to witness.
Hundreds of students gathered behind a fence which enclosed a massive tower of wood. RWU Athletes were entrusted to light this enormous pile of wood. Two student athletes were given tall wooden torches; each torch was then thrown into different sections of wood around the pile and, within minutes, the fire climbed to the top of the wood pile. The heat from the fire could be felt immediately by students from behind the fence. Quickly the bonfire lit the entire rugby field. Students stood in awe of the massive fire, taking pictures and videos for a while before moving on to the rest of the night’s festivities.
After the bonfire had been roaring and crackling for bit, a gigantic beach ball was passed through the crowd of excited people. While the fire grew, a band played popular music so everyone was able to sing and dance along. Many students crowded in front of the stage to dance while some continued to stay circled around the bonfire. A large group danced to the music under strobe lights located above the stage, shining onto the grassy field. Others indulged in free drinks and pizza while chatting with friends and enjoying the night. A student athlete from the class of 2019 stated, “It’s so hot from the fire, but I’m enjoying the night with my friends.”
Throughout the night, fall sports teams and clubs were called onstage to be recognized by the crowd. All the students on the field clapped and cheered for each team as they were introduced. Some students even brought noise makers to celebrate. In-between the band playing, and the teams being brought on stage, “Hawk On” t-shirts were thrown into the crowd as announcements for activities were made. Amidst all of the celebration, a student from the class of 2017 exclaimed, “This is great, go Hawks!”