Bringing School Spirit Back

Sleeping in and winter break aren’t the only things to look forward to this year at St. John’s. The School Spirit Committee is in full force and let’s just say that John Kelly is “bringing school spirit back.”

“The ultimate goal is to have huge attendance at our athletic events, but attendance isn’t good enough,” said Kelly, chair of the School Spirit Committee of Student Government, Inc. “It also means standing up, screaming, and bleeding St. John’s red.”
As a sophomore, Kelly and his team have been working hard to transform the School Spirit Committee and school spirit involvement.

With 25 section leaders and over 800 committee members, school spirit in the RedZone student section and across campus will surely be different this year.

“We’ve had some problems in recent years and we’re really trying to make students feel a connection to the University,” Kelly said.

Kelly’s school spirit career didn’t begin in college. While in high school in North Potomac, MD, he ran the student section for school spirit at all of the games and extracurricular activities. His senior year of high school he served as class president. This is a man with experience in rousing fans and students. Even in the first month of the 2006-2007 school year, school spirit has improved.

“If you just look at the attendance figures from the beginning of last year to the beginning of this year, they’ve improved dramatically,” Kelly said. “It’s sort of the thing everyone knew needed to be done, but no one wanted to step up and do it.”

Kelly has sure stepped up to bat (so to speak) and is ready to continue this endeavor. The committee is focusing on a new mascot, new cheers and giving away more free stuff. If you come out to a game, you are a part of school spirit.

Besides the weekly sporting events that the School Spirit Committee attends, they are working toward the next big event: the Red Storm basketball season preview, which will be held on Oct. 5.

“I’m really excited for Storm Fest ’06 which is going to be a brand new, never-been-done-before opening event for the men’s and women’s basketball season,” he said.

The festivities begin with a free barbecue and block party at 6:00 p.m. This is to be followed by an opening event with surprises in Carnesecca arena at 7:30 p.m. Updates are available online at www.redstormsports.com.

St. John’s, like many other schools, has struggled with dwindling attendance at games and lack of school spirit. To Kelly, it’s time to turn the enthusiasm around.

“Every university needs school spirit because as a student, at whatever institution you choose, you should feel pride for what your institution stands for; and with St. John’s incredible tradition, it’s our responsibility to keep it alive,” Kelly said.