Campaign planned to raise school spirit

Photo by Claire Murray | The Duquesne Duke. Freshmen Jorden Thornton (left) and Ashley Gault (right) sport Duquesne shirts on Academic Walk. The SGA and athletic department are starting a campaign to increase school pride, which will include a t-shirt exchange.

Photo by Claire Murray | The Duquesne Duke. Freshmen Jorden Thornton (left) and Ashley Gault (right) sport Duquesne shirts on Academic Walk. The SGA and athletic department are starting a campaign to increase school pride, which will include a t-shirt exchange.

By Kaye Burnet | For The Duquesne Duke

The Student Government Association is teaming up with the athletics department and the Red & Blue Crew in a comprehensive campaign to promote school pride.

The SPIRIT campaign will feature a t-shirt exchange, sponsored by the athletics department, in which students can trade in their clothing from other universities for official Duquesne attire in the bookstore, according to SGA president Attila Mihalik.

“The goal is really to get students to be wearing more Duquesne apparel than [that of] other schools’, so they show more pride in their school,” Mihalik said.

Nicole Bucholtz, assistant director of marketing and promotions for the athletics department, has been working to increase school pride since she stepped into her position in 2011.

“It’s exciting to actually be activating an entire campaign with the SGA and RBC in support of our teams and all student organizations,” Bucholtz said.

In addition to the t-shirt exchange, the SPIRIT campaign will be responsible for organizing a Duquesne pride event on the first Friday of each month.

The “First Friday” events began on Sept. 6, when members of the athletics department gave out Smiley Cookies to promote attendance at upcoming home games that weekend. The next Friday event is scheduled for Oct. 4.

Student government representatives and athletic department officials are not the only ones to notice a problem with school spirit.

Freshman Trevor Root said he notices Duquesne students sporting not only Pitt t-shirts, but backpacks and other gear as well.

As for Duquesne’s athletic pride, Root said there is “really not a lot.”
“Even the first football game wasn’t as crazy as my high school’s games,” Root said.

Sophomore Kaiti Beauchamp, who attended sporting events regularly throughout her freshman year, said the student body’s school pride is “definitely present, but it could really be improved a lot.”

However, Beauchamp said she sees a hopeful future for the University’s school pride.

“Two of my friends started the Rooney’s Goonies, which is the men’s soccer support group, in an effort to get people more revved up about the games,” Beauchamp said. “People can participate in that or the Red and Blue Crew to get more involved.”

Another upcoming SPIRIT Campaign event is “Dinner with the Dukes” in the Nitespot on Oct. 3, Oct. 30 and Nov. 14. Students can also mark their calendars for the Homecoming Kickoff Pep Rally, BBQ and Powderpuff football game on Oct. 10.

On Oct. 17, there will be a student-only Dukes Madness Basketball Tip-Off Tournament, hosted by the men’s and women’s basketball teams and intramurals.

Students are also encouraged to participate in Family Weekend in October and the Greek Life Carnival on Nov. 2.

According to Bucholtz, the SPIRIT campaign is about much more than just athletics.

“We want Duquesne students to bleed Red & Blue, and for it to be a way of life,” Bucholtz said. “Being a Duke isn’t just for our student athletes, we’re all Dukes.”

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