By Jayden Presley
During the Jan. 19 basketball games at Trustmark Arena, crowd attendance rose to one of the largest of the season as the M.A.D.E Program hosted the first M.A.D.E Night in collaboration with UM Athletics.
The M.A.D.E Program set up beside the concession stand with M.A.D.E Night t-shirts spread out over a long table. M.A.D.E students sat in their own student section wearing the shirts as UM’s men and women basketball teams played against the University of West Alabama.
“This is what we’re calling M.A.D.E Night, and so we are partnering with athletics to just boost participation and engagement at athletic events, specifically amongst our minority students,” said Jason Perry, Student Diversity Recruitment Coordinator of the M.A.D.E Program.
M.A.D.E promoted the event on their Facebook and Instagram pages on Jan. 18. They provided information that the first 75 students who RSVP the event received free M.A.D.E Night shirts. A link to the RSVP from was also included.
The post said each M.A.D.E Night will have free food, giveaways and feature students on their social media page. To be featured on their social media and entered in the giveaway, students need to take a photo in their M.A.D.E Night shirts and tag @montevallomade in their Instagram stories.
While at the event, Perry said the program is trying to get their students to interact with each other, support the basketball teams and create more collaboration among campus groups.
“It’s just a way to engage all our different types of students,” said Perry “We really enjoy being able to come together in this atmosphere, because it’s a little bit more light-hearted, it’s fun, and it’s a way for us to just kinda celebrate the different minority students that we have on campus: some athletes, some theatre.”
Chloe Harris is a social work major and M.A.D.E participant, as well as an intern for the program. She attended the event and sat at the merchandise table with other members of M.A.D.E.
Harris reflected on how the program has impacted her.
“So far, M.A.D.E has made me feel more welcome on campus just knowing that I have the space as a minority student that makes me feel engaged or feel just…you know, this is a predominantly white institution,” Harris said. “So, coming to school as a minority student, as a black student, coming from a majority black high school, this was a shocker to me. So, it just made me feel like I belong at Montevallo.”
Harris smiled, joking, “You see how I put that slogan up in there?”
Freshman computer science major Cameron Perkins joined Harris at the merchandise table, and said this is his first semester joining M.A.D.E.
“For me, M.A.D.E has actually helped out very well, especially with becoming more acclimated to campus, because I just graduated from high school,” said Perkins. “It’s helped me become more acclimated into college life, see how everything goes, to meet people and meet my professors, and to just become very well-rounded in school.”
M.A.D.E will host two more M.A.D.E Nights with the UM basketball teams on Feb. 10 and Feb. 12. The Falcons are scheduled to play University of West Florida on Feb. 10 and Valdosta State University on Feb. 12.
Jayden Presley is the sports editor for The Alabamian. She is a sophomore mass communication major, concentrating in multimedia journalism, and also minors in creative writing. She enjoys writing in her spare time, drawing and playing video games.