Spirit Initiative Boosts School Spirit

Victoria Cagley, Contributing Writer

On  college campuses across the nation, pride and school spirit are second nature. Greg Overend, executive director for the Center for Student Engagement, Leadership, and Orientation (CSELO), says he believes that we can expand our community pride.

According to Overend, for the last two years the university has been working toward different goals through a spirit initiative.

“What we’re trying to do, not just with our students, but across campus, is create a sense of pride in what it means to be a charger,” said Overend.

The spirit initiative works as a consistent goal toward boosting school pride,  through events and getting everyone involved. If you have attended any of the Welcome Week events or participated in social media promotions on campus, you engaged in the spirit initiative’s purpose. Free t-shirts, competitions, campus-wide barbeques, and everything else were planned to create a sense of community in being a Charger.

Overend said that the ultimate goal is to, “build that sense of community, build that sense of engagement, that sense of belonging at the university for everyone at the university. Not just students, but for faculty and staff as well.”

Small things make big differences, whether it is just promoting the Charger compact, or giving out free t-shirts on Fridays, he said. This spirit initiative is the university’s attempt to to use  morals and ideals, and infuse it into the campus culture and community.

“Really, it’s all about just building the spirit here, building the pride, and having people realize that they’re [apart of a community].” said Overend.

Even having the campus mascot, Charlie, walk around on campus to take pictures is designed to get students excited about being at school. The Welcome Week Barbeque held on August 27 was a part of the initiative. Everyone came together to get food, which prompted students to interact with one another and get to know faculty and staff.

But how are they actually implementing this spirit initiative?

“We have a working group that’s looking at how do we build pride as an institution. How do we build community [and] how do we engage students, faculty, and staff?” said Overend.

Overall, CSELO’s campus spirit initiative is being displayed across campus, and we can expect to see more in the near future.