Spirit Fridays look to increase school pride

Spirit Fridays look to increase school pride

September 21, 2018

Since arriving this past April, Dennis Hicks, the new director of Student Activities, has been working to increase school pride at Brandeis. As director of Student Activities, Hicks oversees the Box Office, operations of the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC) and is an advisor for the Campus Activities Board (CAB) as well as the Undergraduate Theatre Collective (UTC).

A new initiative that Hicks hopes to introduce to the Brandeis campus is that of Spirit Fridays. Hicks wanted to create Spirit Fridays after seeing it at previous schools he worked at. “I’m trying to get students interested and showing their school pride on specific days. We know that people own Brandeis gear, but we want them to wear them purposefully,” explained Hicks. “Even the staff and faculty are getting involved. I love seeing the elements of school spirit show up in different departments across campus.”

With the program still in the works, Hicks is hoping to partner with different groups, on and off campus, to provide more incentive to students. “We are so centrally located that I’d hope that different nearby eebestaurants could provide discounts on Fridays to students who are sporting their Brandeis gear,” said Hicks. He explained that these incentives will also benefit the restaurants from the increase in foot traffic.

Brandeis students know that attendance at athletic events is not the best, based on the rankings provided by the Princeton Review, ranking Brandeis the third worst for attendance at sporting events. Even though Hicks did not plan Spirit Fridays with this aspect in mind, he hopes that both can run in tandem, with students getting special prizes if they attend events with their Brandeis gear on.

Along with more sporting events, the main event that Hicks hopes to increase attendance in is Homecoming, which happens in late September. He wants students to get behind the program and welcoming back alumni and supporting athletes at school more than they have been.

“We are wanting to get that energy from the student body that we are proud to go to Brandeis and proud to be Brandeis students,” said Hicks. “You should not be able to walk 100 yards on campus without seeing someone in some Brandeis gear.”

Hicks hopes to revive Brandeis’ levels of school spirit to what they used to be. Hicks recalled back in 2012 when Brandeis was one of the six finalists on Kathie Lee and Hoda’s competition on the Today Show. This contest would bring Kathie Lee and Hoda to the winner’s college campus for an hour-long broadcast. While Brandeis did not win, its levels of spirit were high enough to be considered, which is no small feat.

Events that have occurred so far this year in relation to the Spirit Fridays include “All Rise, Court is in Session: College Colors Day,” an event that took place Aug. 31 at Chapels Field to kick off the initiative. The first 2000 students in attendance received a free Brandeis shirt and also were invited to take a large group photo in the formation of a “B.” Free caricature artists and Xfinity representatives were also present with free gifts and information.

On Sept. 20, representatives from the athletic brand Reebok hosted a pop-up event at Fellow’s Garden behind the SCC, which included soccer games on the grass, and the chance to try on the new Fusion Flexweave sneaker in exchange for free overnight shipping codes and the chance to win free Reebok gear like water bottles, phone wallets and PopSockets. While the event couldn’t be scheduled on a Friday, it still hopes to engage the Brandeis community as the Spirit Friday events do.

Lisa Marie, a member of the Reebok team at the event, said that her team is touring the tri-state area to spread the word about Reebok’s newest sneaker design. “What we’re doing is getting Reebok on students’ minds again… Our new sneaker is a fusion of innovative performance as well as a casual on-the-go type of sneaker, and we’re seeing that students are really interested in our campaign and the way we’re running it. We’re very happy to be on college campuses,” Marie said.

In addition, the Game Room in Lower Usdan will also be offering free play on Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m. for any students who show up wearing any Brandeis gear, which comes in addition to the free play on Friday nights. Hicks encourages everyone to get more involved on campus, whether it is with a club on campus or community service in order to show their Brandeis pride.

Hicks adds, “I encourage everyone to show their school spirit and celebrate those who have school spirit. Showing your pride as a Brandeisian demonstrates a whole new level of pride when you see people wearing Brandeis clothes.”

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