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Reagan Responds

The Minnesota Gophers and student organizations

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November 21, 2019

What are your thoughts on the Gophers’ success so far this season? Do you believe that they will keep it up? What are your predictions for the remainder of the schedule?

This season the Gophers have completely changed their identity as a college football program. What was once a program filled with defeat, failure and sub-par results is now being recognized on a national level for the first time in at least 15 years. P.J. Fleck and his enthusiasm, energy and schematic play-calling have put Minnesota on the map as a major college program.

Going into the season most analysts — and local media members — had the Gophers at a ceiling of about six wins. Instead, the Gophers started the season by winning their first nine games, including a win against Penn State which was ranked as the fourth-best team in the country at the time the game was played.

As somebody who was at that game, I felt the energy in that stadium. Attendance was over 50,000 people and empty seats were few and far between. The energy at TCF Bank Stadium on that Saturday could best be described in two words — nervously optimistic.

It seemed as if football fans in Minnesota — a state that has dealt with continuous football heartbreak — were ready to see a victory in their most important game in nearly 20 years.

After that game ended and Minnesota had a 31-26 victory, students flooded the field, spilling over the protective railings until the majority of the football field was no longer visible.

The impact of a season like this, no matter how it ends, has changed the landscape of college football in Minnesota for years to come. Recruiting classes will be improved and Minnesota will have a chance to truly make some noise in the Big 10 in the next couple of years. But first, Minnesota will have to find a way to get to Pasadena this year to play in their first Rose Bowl since 1962.

What are the benefits of joining student organizations on campus?

The value of joining clubs on campus can’t be understated. As a freshman and sophomore at UW–River Falls I wasn’t involved in any clubs on campus. If I could go back, that would be the thing I would change.

I can still remember sitting in the stands at the homecoming game in 2016 and thinking to myself, “I should be announcing this football game, I know I would be good at it.” However, I didn’t get involved with the radio station until my junior year of college. I missed out on two years of fantastic opportunities, a lot of sports and a lot of great friends.

During my junior year of college, I also joined the Student Voice, which is where what I’m writing right now will end up – a printed newspaper. My experience at the Student Voice has been similar to that of WRFW. I have made a lot of friends and learned a lot about myself and my writing along the way. Without these two student organizations, I wouldn’t have enjoyed my time at River Falls nearly as much.

Essentially, joining student organizations on campus was one of the best decisions I ever made in my four years here. They had an incredible impact on my life and I’m sure that student organizations would have a similar impact on your life, just pick something you’re interested in or passionate about.

Reagan Hoverman is a student at UW-River Falls.