Many moving pieces go into making sure that Growl runs smoothly. Assistant Directors often do not receive any praise, but their work does not go unnoticed. Without Assistant Directors, Growl would not be able to be held on the large-scale that it is.
Daniel Gallup, a rising sophomore majoring in Political Science, is serving as an Assistant Director of Script. In this role, he serves on the team that writes the comedy scripts for Growl.
“We come up with concepts about relevant things going on around campus or on the national level and incorporate them into homecoming script,” Gallup said. “One of the best ways to promote school pride is to be able to laugh at yourself and the situations around; comedy is a bonding experience.”
The Script team collectively brainstorms ideas as a team and drafts up an outline for a skit that could work. Then, the group meets through Zoom and comes up with better jokes and overall ways in which they can improve.
Both of Gallup’s parents went to UF and spoke about their Growl experience his entire life. Before going to college, he already knew he wanted to contribute to a tradition that has been going on (and has impacted people’s lives) for many decades. He was drawn to this team because when he attended Growl his freshman year, his favorite part was watching the skits. Growl was the first event that fortified his place on campus because he understood the jokes being followed on stage; he wanted to give that feeling back to other students.
Gallup is also involved on campus in other capacities by serving as Sophomore Class Vice President, a Florida Cicerone, and the UF College Democrats.
Anna Welch, a rising sophomore majoring in accounting, is serving as an Assistant Director of Finance. She said that she is always looking for more ways to grow professionally while getting involved with something that she cares about.
“Being on the finance team was the perfect opportunity for me because I’ve gained a deeper understanding and get to support each of the individual Homecoming events, and it has made me appreciate all of the facets of our school traditions.”
Welch said that Homecoming Week was one of her favorite memories of freshman year. Seeing how the celebration and pride in our shared identity of being Gators brought so many students and alumni together was her motivation for getting more involved in creating this experience.
Outside of Gator Growl, Welch is also involved as an accounting intern for the O’Connell Center, Panhellenic, Gators for Tomorrow, and The Big Event.
Jill Dingus is a rising sophomore majoring in Tourism, Event, and Recreation Management working towards a History minor. Jill is currently serving as an Assistant Director of Photography. The photography team is tasked with taking portraits of the Growl staff and capturing the different events. This year, they are exploring more creative ways to shoot content.
Jill joined Growl because of her passion for photography and her desire to grow her skills and form new friendships. “I love taking pictures of everything, I love the memories and the creative aspect of it so getting to take portraits of my friends and new amazing people I’ve met through this organization has been the best part so far,” said Jill.
COVID has forced the photography team to come up with innovative ideas to create engagement with students.“Our team has been putting a lot more effort toward the social media and online presence of the organization on things like Facebook and Instagram,” said Jill. The photography team has been working actively by setting up and taking team headshots and photos.
Now, more than ever, a large, hardworking and supportive team is essential for the livelihood of Gator Growl. These Assistant Directors emulate the values of this organization and what it means to be a Florida Gator. With their help, this year’s Homecoming and Gator Growl will be one to remember, no matter the circumstances.