ROLL NOLA: ‘Nova Students Take on The Big Easy

Vivi Melkonian, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Villanova students eventually made it to The Big Easy. (Courtesy of Villanovan Photography)

Screaming, crying and impulsive purchases. What do these three things have in common? They were all completely valid responses to the ‘Cats victory over Houston last Saturday night. 

Whether one celebrated at The Oreo, The Courts or Kelly’s, the ‘Nova Nation pride was palpable in the air. Students reveled in victory for the evening but were greeted by a monster on Sunday morning: tentative travel plans. 

If you’re anything like me and impulsively purchased a ticket to your southern home town with absolutely no further plan of how to get to Louisiana, this was a rude awakening. 

For broke college kids trying to plan a 1,200 mile journey in five days, creative transportation includes planes, trains, automobiles and…RVs? 

“It started out as a joke,” sophomore Alex Nemon said. “Then the next thing I knew, I was putting my credit card info into an RV rental site.” 

Nemon, along with six of his fraternity brothers, plan to depart from the comforts of Bryn Mawr in the wee hours of Friday morning and complete the 18-hour drive in one day. The transportation and residence fusion was especially appealing for the group. 

For those uninterested in the mobile home scene, it’s all about scrappy methods. With plane tickets skyrocketing in price and limited availability on student flights, many Villanovans are searching for airports close enough to New Orleans for a condensed road trip. 

“My whole family is coming, and flying directly to NOLA was absurd,” junior Alyssa Paster said. “We’re flying at 5 a.m. on Friday from Newark to Atlanta and driving from there. We want to be there for the fun events that night. It’s not the most convenient, but it’ll be so worth it.”

Students are taking these imaginative solutions in stride. Rather than gripe about long car rides or packed airplanes, they are finding humor and seeing this as a bonding experience with a shared end goal: supporting the ‘Cats on their road to victory. 

Once students figure out how to get to New Orleans, they are met with another obstacle: lodging. 

The hotels of New Orleans are all but nonexistent so close to the game. Who knew there were so many Villanova fans? It definitely does not have to do with a huge Carolina rivalry and a certain coach’s last game. At this point, students who haven’t figured out lodging are more likely to be sleeping in the bayou than Bourbon Street. 

Those who were able to book a coveted room are now working overtime to pack as many people in as possible.  

“My friends are currently trying to convince me to squeeze seven girls into a hotel room,” said an anonymous senior. “How are we supposed to shower?”

Comfort may be hard to come by these next few days, but students echo that it is all worth it for what might be a once in a lifetime chance to see their team compete at this level. Students and faculty alike recognize the rarity of this experience, as the Vice Provost announced that students traveling to games would be automatically excused from class on Friday, as well as on Monday “if (or should I say when) we make it to the final championship game.” 

The electricity of school spirit at Villanova is unlike any other community, and that is more evident than ever this March. So long are the frigid winds of Lancaster Avenue  this weekend as students flock down South by whatever means necessary. Cheers to the Final Four. V’s up, go ‘Cats.