By Kyla Wright
A question that has been asked among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for 148 years: who is the real HU?! This rivalry between Howard University and Hampton University has been going on since 1868 – the year that Hampton was founded – one year after Howard.
This weekend at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. marks one of the biggest annual HBCU events. Students, alumni, and many others attend the AT&T Nation's Football Classic –Hampton U. vs. Howard U. – too see which school can prove themselves as being worthy of the trophy, bragging rights, and the ultimate title of "The Real HU."
Keauna Lenton, a Hampton U. freshman pre-pharmacy major from Detroit, is traveling to our rival school on one of the six charter buses provided by the Office of Student Activities here. This form of transportation was convenient for many students as their $40 package included transportation to and from Washington, D.C., a T-shirt, and a boxed lunch.
Some upperclassmen students said the downside of traveling with the Office of Student Activities was that it is a turnaround trip. Genita Johnson, a sophomore marketing major from Boston, is driving to the game with friends and staying in D.C. for the weekend so that she can get "the entire HUHU experience," she said, a reference to the social aspects of the weekend.
Friday, at 1 p.m., launched the rivalry. The "Game Before the Game: Howard University vs. Hampton University Student Debate" was to take place in the Cramton Auditorium on Howard's campus, where members from both schools' debate teams would go head to head in three rounds of intense debating on pre-determined topics while they're being cheered on by their fellow Bison or Pirates in the audience.
Students, alumni and others from schools all around will likely be traveling late Friday or early Saturday so that they can make it to the Pepsi Block Party, or tailgate on the festival grounds of RFK Stadium on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.
"I'm not into the football aspect of HUHU, but I'm looking forward to the tailgate and seeing my fellow Howard students," said Tanasia Smith, a junior journalism major from Harlem, New York.
The tailgate will be full of students and alumni from the HU's, Greeks, celebrity guest. The reality is, you never know who will pop up at these events.
Lauren Smith (pictured above, right), a sophomore health science major from Detroit, attends Howard and is all about socializing this weekend. She plans on attending the tailgate and any and every party succeeding the game.
Besides, what's a college weekend without a friendly rivalry and parties?!
Rivalry aside, one thing that Hampton and Howard students do great together is PARTY. We are both known to work hard, but play hard as well. One of Hampton's own, QT9's Cameron Benboe, better known as DJ Camo, will be hosting and DJ'ing one of the after parties on Saturday night.
The rumor around social media is that there will basically be a party at every corner, so if you like social functions, D.C. will be the place for you this weekend.
One thing is for sure, this weekend will be an interesting, but when it's all said and done, only one school can walk away with the title of the REAL HU. The question is, who will it be?
The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.