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Spirit Day shows school unity at UWRF

February 5, 2007

Chancellor Don Betz is trying to make Spirit Day a standard Friday practice at UW-River Falls.

Spirit Day started on Jan. 26 and will continue to be held every Friday throughout the Spring Semester.

Students, faculty and alumni are asked to demonstrate their school spirit by wearing the colors and logos of UWRF.

“It starts with a spark that will ignite a flame,” Chancellor Betz said.

He said this is only the beginning of a new movement for UWRF that will grow to become a tradition.

Friday is the best day to show school spirit since most sport competitions are held on weekends, Betz said.

In addition, it allows faculty to dress down and take part in casual Fridays, in which they are allowed to wear comfortable UWRF clothing instead of their more formal attire.

Even though Betz encourages Spirit Day, some students on campus are skeptical. They are concerned that it will not catch on as quickly as anticipated.

“Maybe it would contribute to school spirit, but I don’t think many students will participate,” sophomore Alice Bearss said.

Other students think it is a great idea, but also agree that it would not be a realistic occurrence every week.

“If there was a game on the weekend it would help with school spirit, but not every Friday, it could be overwhelming,” senior Justin Modeen said.

Chancellor Betz started Spirit Day as a weekly event because he wants UWRF to show off the pride that he notices each day.

Especially with the opening of the new University Center, he felt a sense of unity amongst the UWRF students and faculty when unveiling the building.

Alumni have been notified of Spirit Day as well and are encouraged to participate. Most alumni, along with their families, live and take part in the UWRF community.

Daniel McGinty, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, said that Spirit Day is going to do well.

He noticed last Friday that a lot of staff showed their pride by wearing school colors.

“I do believe that spirit day is received very well on our campus,” McGinty said. “The faculty and staff here at UWRF take a great deal of pride in the work that they do for this great University and are willing to support this program.”

Although Spirit Day seems to be a new concept at UWRF, Mcginty said that the Alumni Foundation have been wearing clothing with logos on Fridays for over a decade.

“Our alumni are very loyal to the University. Anytime that we host an alumni event you will see a wide array of UWRF memorabilia being worn by our alums,” he said.

Mcginty said that there is also a statewide “UW Spirit Day.” It is a one-day event dedicated to celebrate the contributions of almost 500,000 UW-alumni.

The alumni participate by wearing their campus colors or logos to show their connection throughout the workforce in Wisconsin.

Displaying something as simple as a UWRF emblem at home or at work shows school pride and effort, Betz said.

He said that there are future plans of competitions between residence halls, organizations, and clubs to further encourage Spirit Day involvement.