Georgetown students are exposed to all sorts of new experiences while on the Hilltop, but seldom do they get the chance to watch Jerry Rice learn the “Soulja Boy” or be part of the crowd while Dikembe Mutombo rallies McDonough Gymnasium. Midnight Madness, a celebration of the kickoff of official NCAA basketball practices, has been an integral part to the Georgetown undergrad’s Hoya basketball experience.

any students, however, are faced with a hurdle in attending because of another important Georgetown tradition: Parents’ Weekend. Students from all four schools had to choose between spending more time with their parents and attending Midnight Madness last weekend, a decision that is not fair to the students who want to kick off the beginning of the college basketball season, nor to the parents who traveled to D.C. to spend two short days with their children.

October at Georgetown is a busy month: Other than Midnight Madness and Parents’ Weekend, there’s Homecoming, Columbus Day, midterms and a usually raucous Halloween. We understand that all these events are often hard to organize with a limited number of weekends in the month, which is perhaps why the date for Parents’ Weekend is set three years in advance. But Midnight Madness and Parents’ Weekend should be on separate weekends.

Since Midnight Madness is dependent on the NCAA schedule, the responsibility falls on the Georgetown administration to look ahead and ensure the two do not coincide. Most obviously, this year’s Parents’ Weekend could have taken place this upcoming weekend.

Going to Midnight Madness is not just a commitment to three hours spent in McDonough during the late evening. Students often spend hours waiting in a long line stretching to Yates that same afternoon in order to secure a ticket, and this singular dedication shows a broader passion for Hoya basketball, a passion that helped our team remain undefeated at home last season. It is unfair to ask students, especially freshmen, to suspend their devotion to Georgetown and its athletics in order to spend time with their family. Students ought to have a weekend free from other commitments in order to catch up with their parents without having to feel that they have missed an essential Georgetown tradition.

As diverse of a campus as Georgetown is, most students can admit their love for two things: their families and Georgetown basketball. And making students choose one over the other is unnecessary and unfair.

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