Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Awesome Section E -- Darden Cup Champs!!

Celebrating a Section E Darden Cup three-peat!

I'm not normally one to brag, especially when said bragging may alienate 80% of the Darden student body, but another year has ended and my beloved Section E is once again the Darden Cup champion!

For those us you not familiar with the Darden Cup (probably everyone not at Darden), this yearlong competition tests a section's unity through events which challenge both intellectual and athletic talents. Points are awarded for performance (after all, this is business school) but also for participation from First Years, Second Years, and faculty. Events range from flag football to softball to soccer to trivia. Throw in a community outreach component and you have a lengthy yearlong battle to establish true section supremacy.

Getting manhandled by a Section B student in Darden Cup soccer!!

The competition's purpose is to promote cohesion amongst each First Year section and Section E was able to gel around the goal of winning the Cup quickly. As two-time defending champions we had weighty expectations to live up to, and our Second Year alumni set the tone from day one: We were going to win. Thankfully, Section E had been gifted with 68 students who wanted our group to compete and win at everything -- see Dave Miller's post for more about our competitive nature. We had strong leadership from Section Rep Evan Smith (now DSA President) supported by a strong team dedicated to supporting our exam preparation, outreach efforts, and social lives.  Nicknaming ourselves the "leprecats" (based on a sectionmate's inspirational speech), we developed a "front-runner" strategy -- pick up points early and energize our section with our successes. This worked like a charm: Section E had the best participation numbers at almost every event.

Section E final day of class in December

Along the way we discovered hidden talents and found a way for everyone to contribute. We weren't the most athletic section -- our victories were in the decidedly non-athletic dodgeball, bowling, and trivia events -- but through participation and energy we were able to maximize our points at every event, and in the end won by a resounding margin.

Darden Cup isn't the only way in which First Year sections jockey with one another. Witness the Section E Mischief Team, whose pranks on neighboring Section D you can watch on YouTube, or Section A's obsession with stealing Section B's beloved mascot (see Sara Sajadi's entry for details). There are a few injuries every year from aging former athletes with Type A personalities crashing into one another in Darden Cup athletic events, but generally speaking the pursuit of the Cup is good clean fun and a way to forever forge a Darden student's section identity.  Though Section E hasn't shared case discussions together in room 190 since December, you can still identify E'ers by our "High Five Tuesday" tradition and our impassioned section spirit.

So, prospective First Years, you all should be spending your summers hoping and dreaming that Marsh Pattie's random name generator places you in the decidedly most awesome section at Darden, Section E!

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