After sold-out trip, SG initiative could expand
It wasn’t the trip to Gainesville, Fla., USC fans had hoped for, but Student Government’s Carolina Convoy trip went smoothly and saw better attendance than usually expected.
Convoy trips haven’t sold out in the past, according to Amanda Bishop, SG’s Athletics chair, but the trip did this year on the heels of the Gamecocks’ back-to-back successful seasons.
The popularity of the $95 ticket was greater than expected, and 107 made the trip on two buses filled to capacity, pushing SG to charter a second bus of fans. They were joined by 76 students who bought tickets to the game through the Student Ticket Office.
If that level of attention holds, the Athletics committee will consider adding more trips and increasing the amount of space they make available, according to Bishop.
But in the meantime, this year’s group said it hadn’t encountered many issues.
No Carolina Convoy riders were ejected from the stadium, and none ran into trouble with local law enforcement while in Gainesville, according to Bishop.
“Students represented themselves and the university in a very respectable manner,” she wrote in an email.
They made the 14-hour round trip in one day in an excursion marked by anxiety and a handful of hostile fans. Kinteshia Scott, a third-year environmental science student, said the group got noticeably more stressed after a pit stop in Jacksonville, Fla.
“The drive from Jacksonville to Gainesville was agonizing, just because you could tell everyone was anxious for the game,” Scott said.
Once they were there, they ran into Florida’s notoriously intense atmosphere, which was bolstered by a top-10 matchup and a 44-11 rout of South Carolina.
“On the way out of the stadium, things were just nasty and I pray that no sports fan inside Williams-Brice (Stadium) has any sort of similar experience,” said Anne Evangelista, a third-year political science student, who bought a ticket over the summer.
In spite of the atmosphere and the score, Scott said the fans who traveled tried to hold strong.
“The Carolina section was loud throughout the entire game, despite the fact that the game went so horribly,” Scott said. “I think we were most annoyed by the ‘Gator Chomp,’ which is hands down the most annoying hand gesture ever.”