Collegian: Spirit club revamped entering the fall

Spirit club revamped entering the fall
Group works around small budget to boost school spirit

By: Sarah Leitner HillsdaleCollegian.com

Posted: 9/24/09

This year the spirit club kicks off with new leadership, a new mascot and a new student section.

“Last year it wasn’t really a club,” sophomore (junior online) Erin Alderson said. “I thought if we made a club there would be a lot more brain power going toward it.”

Alderson took over the duties as director of the spirit club this year. In addition to this change, the former advisor to the spirit club, Ashley LaCarter, graduated this past spring.

As a full-time employee of the college, being the director of the spirit club was in LaCarter’s job description. When she graduated, the responsibility was switched to that of Director of Student Activities Rebekah Dell, her former coworker.

Despite this change of leadership, the club has neither slowed down nor ceased to plan events for the upcoming year.

After the blackout this past Saturday, the spirit club is looking to host more events in the future, Dell said. Some of the events to look forward to include some homecoming weekend activities such as a bonfire and fireworks and some kind of promotion for the last football game in November.

In the past, the club has held tailgates for different events and had an athlete date auction in which we auction out the athletes for a night out.

“We’re almost to the point where we’re trying to make something cool and exciting for every game,” Alderson said.

The new mascot, the black stallion in a football jersey, will appear at all the home games, and Dell said they hope to get him at the volleyball games as well.

“We also want to play off that the student section is on the visitor side this year,” she said. “Really there is very little money to work with so they try and do activities that require very little funding. When budget allows we throw different promotional items into the stands.”

The spirit club also oversees the “adopt-a-charger” program with the overall goal to strengthen athlete and non-athlete relationships in order to be a stronger student body, Dell said.

“I have heard some people say that sports do not have a place at Hillsdale College, but I disagree,” sophomore Sonny Gast said. “Spirit club infuses the sports program with school spirit, and being at a small school it’s great to know the majority of the athletes you see on the field, while at a bigger school you don’t get the opportunity to meet most of the student-athletes on campus.”

Gast said the main goal of spirit club is to support the athletes.

“Athletes have a lot on their plate,” Gast said. “It’s like having a full-time job so it’s nice to have that support from someone who is not a teammate.”

Although volunteers right now are doing a great job keeping up with the status quo, anyone who is interested in the spirit club should sign up, come to the monthly meetings or email Alderson at ealderson@hillsdale.edu, she said.

“I know how talented everyone is on the Hillsdale campus and there’s no reason why those talents shouldn’t be put to use for spirit club,” Alderson said. “We have quite a few ideas for big things we can do on campus, but we don’t have enough volunteers yet to make something huge happen.”

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