Two years ago, members of SIUE’s class of 2021 were experiencing a lot of lasts; last football games, last homecomings and last first days. However, sophomore Jordan Lipe could not accept the fact that her last season of color guard in high school would be the last of her life.
Sophomore psychology major Jordan Lipe of O’Fallon, Illinois, came to SIUE with an open heart. Except, one thing was missing—color guard.
“Color guard is a passion. It is also a dedication. There are so many things that it is—it is inspiring, beautiful, blood, sweat and tears. It’s rewarding. I guess the best way to end it is that it’s my life,” Lipe said.
During her time O’Fallon High School, she was able to travel to different tournaments and meet people who share the same love for the sport. O’Fallon’s marching band and color guard were ranked 12th in the nation this past year. Lipe’s love and passion for the sport inspired her to bring it to SIUE when she was only a freshman.
“Color guard is a dance activity that also incorporates equipment such as flags, rifles and favors. It takes a lot of coordination,” Lipe said. “We do all types of dance; we mainly stick to ballet and jazz but we like to do a lot of modern dance moves as well in our choreography.”
After she realized she just couldn’t let color guard go, Lipe began making connections and gathering information on how to start an organization on campus. She spoke with some people that work at the rec center, who guided her through the process.
“When I came to SIUE, we don’t [didn’t] have a color guard, of course, and, you know, I was technically retiring, but after awhile I realized that I wasn’t ready to let it go yet,” Lipe said.
From then on, she was told to get five individuals to create an executive board, construct a proposal and constitution, and meet with student government to see if they would vote to pass the organization or not.
After she got the organization started, Lipe posted in SIUE student Facebook groups to see if anyone wanted to join and got a few responses from people.
“Right now, we’re just trying to get it going. We’re still recruiting, we’re a very small group so far so we don’t compete, but we do field trips,” Lipe said.
At the moment, the group consists of about eight to nine members and its official name is “The PRIDe Color Guard.”
“I have to say one of the things about color guard that I find most attractive and that attracts most people is that it’s a family sport, it’s like your own little family. That’s what a dance activity is, especially with something like color guard because it’s a group and you have to be in sync to do well at competitions. So, we do all types of team bonding; we try to make sure everybody gets along and that everyone is having a good time. We really want everyone to feel at home,” Lipe said.
Members of Color Guard will be conducting a trivia fundraiser on Saturday, March 30 from 5-8 pm in the Meridian Ballroom in order to raise money for field trips and items that the team uses. Color guard will be doing a performance during the fundraiser as well. Visit their website for more details.