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Council discusses school spirit

John Cameron | Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coming off the second Irish win of the football season, student body president Pat McCormick invited Notre Dame Leprechaun Mike George to Tuesday’s Council of Representatives meeting to discuss how student leaders can help raise school spirit on campus.

“Mike’s been committed this year to try and reform not only pep rallies but also the whole school spirit portfolio in a way that should be really exciting and could engage students in new and powerful ways,” McCormick said.

Student government has focused on reforming campus pep rallies lately, but George highlighted the need to maximize fan excitement surrounding away games as well.

He said the departure of the football team on Thursdays could be an opportunity for a new student tradition.

“The team leaves Thursday, and we actually have a small group from the band that plays them off onto the bus,” George said. “I think we could reach out to a new quad each away game [to join in the sendoff] … It’s easy, it’s quick, it shows a bit of support.”

Undergraduate Experience in Leadership program chair Ricky Bevington said attendance would also raise morale for the band, citing his time spent as a member participating in the send-off.

“It’s kind of awkward because the football players walk one-by-one to the bus … it takes about 20 minutes,” Bevington said. “If people went, they’d make band members very happy.”

Junior Class Council president Kevin Doherty said students might need incentives to go to the sendoff.

“I think a school with a football tradition like ours would really benefit from this,” he said. “But in terms of students I don’t know what’s going to get them there.”

George said he thinks the love of Notre Dame football should be enough to draw at least a portion of the selected quad.

“If we ask a quad [to attend], we’re talking 800 people,” he said. “Can we get 20 of 800 people to show up just because they love football?”

George said the school spirit shouldn’t just be there to send the team off — it should be at the away stadium. He asked the council for suggestions on drawing more students to away game rallies and tailgates.

“When we go to these away games, we do have rallies,” he said. “They’re smaller rallies but there’s always an ND tailgate … I’m not so sure students know when and where they’re having the rallies.”

Hall Presidents Council co-chair Billy Wardlaw said ensuring low prices for students at alumni club-sponsored away game tailgates would draw more students.

“One thing we can work on too is that I know Notre Dame tailgates are pricey and that’s what deters a lot of my friends from going,” he said. “If we could get more of a student discount I think more students would go.”

Returning the focus to home game weekends, George opened up the conversation about the USC night game.

Student body vice president Brett Rocheleau asked whether rumors of a “green out” for the game were true.

“As of now, there’s been no decision for USC as to whether we’ll do a ‘color-out,'” George said. “The problem with that is people bought the shirt. That’s sort of the team color.”

Whether or not a green-out will be planned for the game, George urged students to attend the pep rally prior to it.

“The USC pep rally is going to be really awesome,” he said. “You’re not going to want to miss it.”