Hochman leads Mule Mob
The Mule Mob was a great hit throughout the fall, fostering a strong sense of community amongst all students.
No doubt you’ve seen the Mule Mob tank-clad fans flanking the sidelines at football, soccer, volleyball and field hockey games this past season—you’ve most likely even been a part of that crowd. But regardless of the vast popularity the Mule Mob has gained throughout the semester, many still don’t know Will Hochman ’14. If you don’t know Hochman already, you should be sure to meet him and thank him for those tanks and for creating the Mule Mob.
Hochman, who hails from Brooklyn, N.Y., arrived on the Hill last fall expecting to see a high level of school spirit at athletic contests. In high school he was the head of his school’s “super fan” group and led cheers at sporting events. However, Hochman was disappointed when he went to his first football game and saw people “golf clapping.”
“The energy was there; people were willing to cheer. But for whatever reason they just weren’t,” he said.
Over the summer, Hochman thought about how he could combine his love for the College and his desire for more school spirit. He asked for input from his family and friends and decided to create the “Mule Mob.”
After a few e-mails with Assistant Director of Campus Life Paul Spangle and Co-President of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) Caitlin Burchill ’12, Hochman felt he was ready to start the club. “I wanted to start the club as soon as possible because I didn’t want the first-years to arrive and know that this wasn’t always here,” Hochman said.
Hochman threw himself full force into his project, creating the design for the tanks and t-shirts and ordering 200 of them. Initially he had planned to sell the t-shirts, but a few days after he put in the order, Co-President of SAAC Tyler Cash ’12 told him to put the order on hold.
As it turned out, Cash spoke to Dean of Students Jim Terhune and Director of Campus Life Jed Wartman about the Mule Mob and tank tops. Terhune and Wartman were so impressed with the idea that they wanted every student to have a Mule Mob shirt for free. Soon after, the Student Government Association (SGA) approved the Mule Mob as an official campus club.
Over the weekend of Sept. 16, Hochman handed out 150 tank tops. Within hours, everyone knew about the tanks and “the demand was high,” Hochman said. He announced that the Mule Mob would distribute the rest of the shirts in the Pulver Pavilion on the following Friday at 10 a.m. By 9:30, the building was packed. The next day, the football team had a home game against Trinity College. Hochman pulled students wearing Mule Mob shirts into a student section and started leading cheers. “The amount of spirit was amazing,” Hochman said.
Despite the devastating loss at home, the Mule Mob’s efforts did not go unnoticed. Students, including Hochman, were impressed to read an e-mail and an Echo brief from football captain Nick Kmetz ’12 and other senior players thanking everyone for their support.
Hochman hopes that the College will reserve student sections at future athletic contests. He emphasizes that the Mule Mob will support each athletic team, so he encourages students to wear their shirts to all games.
“We’ve come a long way, and we will continue to move forward. School spirit at sporting events brings the community together. The biggest thing is that people have a great time cheering,” he said.
On Thursday, Oct. 27, Hochman held a meeting for any students interested in taking a leadership position in the Mule Mob. “Since I am looking to have the Mule Mob at every Code Blue game, I need some other students who are willing to get the crowd going. I can’t be at every game, and I want this to continue,” he said. He is currently looking for a student treasurer, as he plans to apply for funding. “I’m just looking for people with cool ideas,” he said.
Hochman continues to put forth fresh ideas of his own in the meantime. He hopes to have a registered party where everyone wears their Mule Mob shirts. And no need to worry, he promises that more gear is in the making. “I’m thinking ping pong balls and thundersticks,” he said.
For now, Hochman is proud of how far the Mule Mob has come. “We brought the mascot back and had an entire week devoted to school spirit. But the coolest thing is that an alumni from 2003 contacted me and asked if I was selling the shirts to everyone,” he said.
Through all of the hype, he emphasizes that he could not have done it without support from SGA and SAAC.
“It’s just been great so far,” he said.