On Saturday, February 25, an estimated 750 people convened at the Reid Athletic Center to participate in the second Gate-Town connection event. Starting at 2:30 p.m., both the Hamilton community and Colgate students joined together for an afternoon of free food, poster making, face painting and a chili cook-off. At 4:00 p.m., everyone piled into Cotterell Court to cheer on the men’s basketball team.
Senior Jordan Sheiner started the Gate-Town connection event last semester.
“After a Senate meeting where the mayor was present, I decided something needed to be done to bring both the Hamilton and Colgate communities closer together,” Sheiner said. “As a member of the Blue Diamond Society, I knew this was something that our group would be able to accomplish.”
Because of the success of the barbecue last semester, with roughly 1,000 people in attendance, the Men’s Basketball Coach, Matthew Langel, requested to put on another event that would increase attendance at the game and create another opportunity for town residents and students to unite.
This time around, Sheiner explained how he went through the Broad Street Association to get a lot of the funding. Eventually, they would like to host events in Broad Street locations in order to get them more involved, because Sheiner believes they are a crucial part of the Colgate and Hamilton relations. Unity House and Residential Life were all big contributors. Gamma Phi Beta was also able to give significant funding to rent carnival booths. Members of Gamma Phi Beta also set up poster making and face painting booths.
Additionally, Sodexo set up fruit, soft pretzels and hot chocolate stands, while Gilligan’s Island in Sherburne brought ice cream and the Hamilton Movie Theatre sponsored popcorn as well as the “Pay What You Want” promotion so town residents could get in for as much as they wanted to donate.
“Oftentimes Colgate students don’t necessarily get the best reputations in town, and we wanted to put on an event that showed residents that we care and want to be a part of their community as well,” first-year and Blue Diamond Society member John Lee said.
Lee believes in the importance of fostering the relationship between Colgate and the Hamilton community, because he feels it is important to give back.
Although there was such a huge turnout at last September’s barbecue, one of the concerns was that the students did not interact with the community members. The chili cook-off was a way to change this. Due to subsidies provided by Brothers, a few teams of students, the culinary club, as well as town residents were able to participate.
“The cook-off was one of my favorite aspects, and it was a great way for the town to get together,” Lee said.
“I loved seeing how excited the children were to get autographs from the players at the end of the game. I also had a great time interacting with everyone beforehand. I’m really looking forward to the next Gate-Town connection,” sophomore Bobby Berkowitz said.
Contact Maddy Tennis at [email protected]