The Collegian
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Students reflect on bus trip to Duke to see Richmond's win

More than 120 students boarded three buses last Saturday to travel to Duke University for the first football game of the season.

Students paid $25 for a game ticket and the Richmond Rowdies covered bus fees, said Sarah Huang, president of the Richmond Rowdies. More than 160 tickets were sold to students and 126 traveled together on Saturday for the road trip.

The buses pulled off campus at 2:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. kick-off, but the ride wasn't as easy as Huang would have hoped. One of the buses broke down several times, including a stretch of 45 minutes when the bus traveled just four miles, she said.

The bus eventually pulled off the road and students were shuffled to the other two buses for the remainder of the drive, Huang said. A third bus was sent to drive students back to campus after the game ended, she said.

"It was a pretty miserable drive," Huang said. "But we made it and everyone was safe and that was my biggest concern."

Originally, all 160 tickets sold to students were spots for the buses, she said. Because only 126 students showed up on Saturday, Huang was able to move students to the other two buses, but Huang said it could have been a disaster.

"Thank goodness those students didn't use the buses," she said. "I don't know what we would have done if we didn't have the open seats available on the other buses to move everyone around."

Nick Olindo, a freshman, said the game left him excited about the school's spirit. "I was really impressed by the student turn out," he said. "For students to get out on the road made me excited about games to come."

Huang said she was also left optimistic about school spirit and she said she hopes the same enthusiasm at Duke will carry through the rest of the year.

Jana Ross, Assistant Director of Athletic Marketing and Fan Development, said this is the fourth year the university has sent buses to road games. "The students really did their part this year," she said. "Three bus loads is a great turn out."

Last year the school took a lot of heat from the public for a lack of school spirit, Ross said, but the Duke game was a great start. "We really do have a good percentage of students who claim tickets for football games," she said. "Our student body is small so it's tough."

Jordan Smith, a junior, went to the game via the buses and was also encouraged by the school spirit. "We do have more school spirit than people think and we proved that by having such a big turn-out at an away game," she said. "I've never seen so many Rowdies t-shirts at once."

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Although the drive down was a little more difficult than students had hoped, the convenience of the buses and the inexpensive cost were big factors in generating such a nice crowd, Olindo said.

"I would definitely [ride the buses] again," Olindo said. "A lot of it was convenience and no extra payments, but it was really fun to be around so many people all pumped up for the game."

For Huang, the trip was a great success. "Overall I'm happy. Winning made it all worth it," she said. "It was a great game that made the troubles of getting down there worth it."

Contact reporter Rachael Bilney at rachael.bilney@richmond.edu.

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