Despite the ongoing pandemic, the annual Taylor tradition of Silent Night will go on.
This year’s contest will take place on November 20 at 6 p.m. in Odle Arena against an opponent still to be determined.
1,000 tickets are available to current Taylor undergraduate students to keep the capacity at 50%.
This means many groups of people like MAHE students, faculty, parents and visiting fans will not be allowed to attend.
The event plan has been approved by the Grant County Health Commission. The PeRT team at Taylor also has said that they fully support the plan to have the event.
Students will go to the game with a group such as their dorm floor, wing, athletic team or school-sponsored club. Groups will be given a specific time to go to the Kesler Student Activities Center to have a health screening and a temperature check. Taylor Athletics Director Kyle Gould said that the screening will be like the current screening Taylor’s student athletes receive.
Groups will also be given a time after their screening to enter Odle Arena. There will be four different places to enter to minimize close contact with other groups. Everyone will be assigned a place to sit for the game and will be socially distanced from other groups. Masks will be required to wear to attend the event. There will be no food and beverages sold either.
Unfortunately, this means that there will be no camping outside of Odle allowed this year, and there will be no rush to the seats allowed. Storming the court will also not be allowed after Taylor’s 10th point.
“We are taking every precaution we can, and it is going to be a really good time,” Gould said.
If someone does not feel comfortable attending the event, there will be additional places around campus to watch the game. The game will also be available to watch on the Trojan Sports Network or on the Taylor Athletics YouTube channel.
Gould says that he respects the point of view of people who think the event is unsafe, and that there should not be any shaming of people who do not wish to go due to safety concerns.
“If you look at this you could say this is a risk, but if you compare it to what we are all doing anyway it is not like going from 0 to 100 by any stretch,” Gould said.
Taylor is currently 22–1 in Silent Night games, winning last year’s contest against Ohio-Chillicothe 89–50.
Despite the reduced attendance, the hope is that the atmosphere will not be much different at all.
“Considering the news just came out, I’m still trying to process it all and trying to envision it myself,” senior James McCloud said.
For McCloud, the Silent Night tradition has not changed for him much over his four years at Taylor, he still says it is the craziest atmosphere he has played in. He says he has never got used to the crazy costumes and the noise that comes with the game.
“I try to tell myself it is just another game because on the win-loss column, it is just another game, but it is not. The first few minutes up until the tenth point is weird,” he said when asked about if Silent Night is just a regular game to him.