New program rallies students for sporting events, increases attendance
THE SANTA CLARA
October 16, 2014
The Ruff Riders launched an initiative to rouse school spirit by hosting tailgating events at off-campus residences.
Junior Aaron Poor, president of the Ruff Riders, created the Educated Tailgaters Program to increase support for athletic teams and overall school spirit. The club collaborates with off-campus houses to host tailgates before athletic events.
“We really want more people to get involved and excited for games,” said Poor. “We want to unite the university as a whole.”
The Ruff Riders are encouraging all students, especially off-campus residents, to join in the festivities. Hot dogs, burgers and other refreshments are provided at the tailgates. Afterward, Broncos are led in a “spirit stampede” to the game or match.
Poor is confident this year will show a great improvement for school spirit through the club’s new core objectives and programs like Educated Tailgaters. He sees the potential students of different years have in reviving excitement for the athletic teams.
“I’ve separated the school into different groups in order to better chart what I want to see from the students and Ruff Riders in the following years,” Poor said. “The freshmen are foals, the colts are the 19 to 20-year-olds and the 21-year-olds are the stallions. Students should feel their excitement within the school continue to grow as they age rather than separate when they may move off campus.”
Poor hopes that the events will help students recognize all the effort that athletes put into their games.
“People work hard for their sports,” he said. “I want people to go out and support these teams. It’s not like they are random strangers, but they are all of our friends and classmates.”
Student attendance for the tailgates have been positive, averaging around 50 individuals.
Off-campus residents are also responding well to the opportunities tailgates offer. Junior Claire Burdette and senior Megan Barrett said they would be more likely to go to a sporting event if a tailgate took place beforehand.
“I don’t usually go to sporting events here at school because none of my friends go. They just aren’t that popular,” said Barrett. “However, I think tailgates would encourage the students to really come together.”
Burdette echoed Barrett’s thoughts.
“I don’t live on campus so I don’t even hear that often about events,” she said. “I think there needs to be a connection between those off campus and those events taking place on campus. Tailgating could be one of those connections.”
The next tailgate is set for Oct. 17. The location is to be announced.