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Tutterrow: Tigerama is evolving, and it’s for the better

David Ferrara // Alumnus
Clemson will hold its 67th Tigerama pep rally on Oct. 6. This year’s theme is “Beyond the Paw.”

This year, Clemson University is holding its 67th annual Tigerama in Memorial Stadium. This time, it was revealed that the event will be headlined by Waka Flocka Flame. The announcement is facing some backlash from older audiences and alumni for the supposedly less-than-family-friendly environment that the show is thought to bring.

Tigerama is a way to provide students with the opportunity to make connections, be together and incite spirit at Clemson.

Historically, this event has helped to achieve this goal, but in recent years, interest in the “traditional” portion has decreased and students don’t seem to be inspired by this alone.
Instead, the anticipation for the performer has become the inciting factor for students to attend and engage in the community.

The traditional portions of the event are still honored and enjoyed by students, alumni and families alike. However, the appeal for many to attend the event and build excitement for attendance has changed.

“I heard Waka Flocka is coming, so I am really excited for that,” Brittan Thomas, a sophomore management major, said. “I remember last year they had this really amazing fireworks show at the end. I am also really excited for that as well… I had the best time with B.o.B. last year.”

While older audiences look forward to reliving their memories of homecoming while watching the events put on by student organizations, current students show a higher excitement for the latter half of the event, and this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Early clippings of The Tiger dating back to 1957, when Tigerama was first founded, reveal that the purpose of the event was to showcase student involvement and school spirit.

“It is and will become a showcase of Clemson talent, effort, and spirit,” said Ray Griffin in ‘The Changing Scene’ The Tiger’s Vol. LI No. 7. “Those who recognized what Tigerama could mean are to be highly commended… Tigerama has become a true expression of Clemson spirit!”

This gathering has served as a way to connect the community of students and alumni for years, and the newer elements do not change this.

Even Tigerama’s more traditional elements have evolved in many other ways over the past 67 years, expanding upon early aspects and involving more types of student groups.

“With more involvement of student organizations, (we have) the opportunity to involve more opportunities like Take Note; and also, Tiger Roar will be there this year,” Ashley McCollum, student body president, and Tigerama emcee said. “I think more students have a bigger drawl diversifying our student groups. It reflects off of Clemson and how it is moving with the times. We celebrate and reflect on the years but also the cool opportunities to kind of just represent everybody. I think it’s just something we are able to use to reflect on the past but also move forward.”

This new wave of Tigerama that we have seen over the past few years seems to have all been in an effort to continue to achieve the common goal of involvement and community. We live in a new age, and what may have interested and excited students 67 years ago is not the same thing that excites us today.

“As Tigerama continues to grow, we must find new and exciting ways to keep Clemson students interested and wanting to come to this 67-year-old tradition. Without taking anything away from the traditional part of Tigerama, we can bring in more upbeat and lively artists like Waka Flocka Flame to perform,” Zeke Gaskins, Tigerama 2023 director, said.

Tigerama, as described in 1957, “is a colorful all student variety show filled with skits by student organizations novelty and specialty acts by individuals and a spectacular fireworks finale being manufactured especially for Tigerama,” according to ‘Alumni Ass’n Getting Orders For Tigerama’ in The Tiger’s Vol. LI No. 6.

These events are still upheld and honored today. There is just a newer element added to the mix. Families are still welcome to enjoy the celebration of homecoming, but there is a clear warning against younger audiences attending the performance.

The Tigerama team has made it clear that the topics discussed in the latter half may not be suitable for younger audiences and has even offered a viewer discretion advisory for Waka Flocka Flame’s performance.

This version of Tigerama does not break tradition or stray away from the community and alumni connecting with students to celebrate homecoming. It just adds new excitement to the decades-old tradition.

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Kylie Tutterrow
Kylie Tutterrow, Opinion Editor
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