Mule Mob Mobs Colby
School spirit anyone? Will Hochman ’14 came to Colby expecting an avid fan base similar to what he knew from Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, N.Y. But at the first Colby football game he was disappointed to discover that spirit didn’t seem to exist on the Hill. “Everyone wants to cheer,” Hochman said, “they just don’t.”
Hochman decided to take action. He wanted to intimidate rivals, inspire the home teams, and give the Colby community something to get excited about. His vision: a Mule Mob.
The blue-shirted Mule Mob debuted at home games Sept. 24.
After coming up with the Mule Mob name, Hochman contacted various representatives in student organizations over the summer. As one of the three presidents of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), Caitlin Burchill ’12 saw promise. “His idea is absolutely fantastic.” She and SAAC also wanted to increase fan attendance. Four student organizations including SGA threw their support behind the Mule Mob, and it gained status as an independent club.
Hochman got right to work when he returned to school this fall. With the first Code Blue weekend Sept. 15, Hochman said, “Getting tank tops was my number one priority.” At first he ordered 200 Colby blue shirts, planning to sell them before the first Code Blue weekend, sponsored by student organizations when teams play rivals at home. Recognizing the potential of the Mule Mob to unify the campus, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jim Terhune jumped in. Declaring Sept. 15 “Colby Community Day,” Terhune purchased Mule Mob T-shirts for all Colby students, prompting Hochman to up his order to 1,800.
Leading up to the game, Hochman and his cohorts built up hype by flooding the General Announcements with e-mails, creating Facebook pages and events, and generally spreading the word. After handing out more than 150 tank tops in 20 minutes on the Friday before game day, Hochman said, “It’s safe to say, people are excited.”
More than 200 Mules showed up to cheer on their teams. Despite rain and home team losses, the campus was abuzz with activity. From the Mule Mob dance party in Dana to fans screaming at the football game, students sporting their Mule Mob tank tops dotted the entire campus. Hochman was thrilled. “From this point forward the word is out and people know what the Mule Mob is,” he said. “Even though it took a lot of time to get it going, it is going to take off on its own.”
“Since when do people go to games? Since now. And they had a great time doing it.”
“The Mule Mob was such a great idea. I have never seen such enthusiasm and school spirit,” said Caitlin Vorlicek ’14. “I'll be wearing my tank top to every game this year in hopes that others do as well.” Vorlicek didn’t have to wait long, as the Mule Mob was scheduled to appear for a Code Blue Saturday Oct. 15.
As for the man behind it all, Hochman said, “I haven’t done that much. We were on the cliff. I just pushed us off the edge.”
Whether Hochman takes credit or not, the Colby community seemed to transform over the weekend of Sept. 15. One need only look at the pictures in the Student Lens or on the front page of the Echo.