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New SMC program draws more to games

Mary Conroy | Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sophomore Alli Grimmer has not missed a volleyball game this year. Each time the team plays at Saint Mary’s, she brings her small blue business-size card with her to get stamped on the way into the game. As part of this new “Get Stamped” program, students like Grimmer have been showing increased support for the College’s sports teams, while hoping to get a free T-shirt at the same time.

The Saint Mary’s Athletic Department developed the new program this year to promote student and faculty attendance at varsity games, tournaments and events. “Get Stamped,” which began in August, gives students the cards the first time they attend an athletic event, Athletic Director Lynn Kachmirak said.

At each additional visit, the student gets her card stamped, and after the 10th stamp, the student receives a free T-shirt. The card is valid for all varsity events throughout the entire school year.

“[The program] is definitely an incentive, and way to show SMC pride,” Grimmer said. “It is something to do, and you get a free T-shirt.”

Before each game, the athletic department sends out an e-mail to all students reminding them to attend the games the following day and to bring their cards.

The program was started due to a lack of home support for the Belles, Kachmirak said.

Many brainstormed for an idea, but it was athletic trainer Stacy Schlumeohm who actually came up with the “Get Stamped” program, Kachmirak said.

“The program was created basically to build up more spirit and enthusiasm for varsity programs. So far it has been a success,” said Kachmirak. “It’s a great way for students to support their classmates and roommates. Students are excited at the events, and slowly but surely more students are coming up asking me for a card.”

Many students have found the frequent e-mails to be helpful and a good way to get students to support teams.

“I hear about [the program] a lot and get a ton of e-mails [about it]. It’s definitely an incentive to go to games this school year,” said senior Alice Holohan, who said she has not had the chance to attend a game yet this year.

Despite the publicity received by the program, some students were not aware of its existence. Other students have been extremely active in the program, and are well on their way to receiving their free T-shirt, Kachmirak said.

The “Get Stamped” program is just one of the tactics that the Saint Mary’s Athletic Department is using to increase fan support. Through the coordination of Kachmirak, royal blue game day T-shirts are worn by librarians, cooks, dining hall staff, custodians, maintenance crew members and the staff of the Health and Wellness center on every home game day. Even though it is only late September, the fan support has increased, Kachmirak said.

If the Get Stamped program works year-round for the Belles, other non-athletic departments and committees of Saint Mary’s may adopt the program as well to increase support that they need, Kachmirak said.