The Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council hosted the first ever Kick Off the Fall Tailgate outside the Business Building on Saturday to promote sportsmanship and get new students involved in Penn State.
Together with the PRIDE Penn State Sportsmanship Team and the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, the organizations wanted to “take an opportunity to engage freshmen,” said IFC Vice President for Finance John Hanson, who spearheaded the event.
“We’re hoping for better awareness of what it means to have Penn State pride,” Hanson (graduate-business administration) said.
But the tailgate was also meant to promote Code Blue, a new point system in which students receive points by swiping their PSU ID+ cards at athletic events. SAAB and PRIDE are working together to build awareness and attendance of Penn State athletic events, SAAB President and member of the Penn State men’s fencing team Michael El-Saleh said.
Students can receive a variety of prizes when they earn a certain amount of points, ranging from T-shirts, hats and even a tour of Beaver Stadium.
“This points system gives more incentive for students to go to track meets or golf matches,” El-Saleh (senior-marketing) said.
SAAB Vice President Anna Muzio, a member of the Penn State track and field team, said she hopes to see bigger crowds at smaller sporting events this year.
“A lot of students just get excited over bigger games while smaller events get pushed aside,” Muzio (senior-premedicine) said.
The event included free pizza and ice cream with entertainment provided by DJ White Noise. Students could also meet the Nittany Lion and talk to student leaders from a variety of student organizations and sports teams.
As a symbol of their appreciation for PRIDE’s involvement in the event, the IFC and PHC gave the organization a $1,500 donation, Hanson said — a move that left PRIDE President Bridgette Carrier “speechless.”
“PRIDE is an organization that started three years ago and this is one of the first big donations we’ve received for our efforts,” Carrier (senior-kinesiology) said.
And according to IFC Vice President for Communications Kevin Cirilli, (senior-journalism) it’s just the beginning of the partnership.
The IFC and PHC plan on working closely with PRIDE and SAAB in the future and are hoping to show the new students the importance and benefits of Penn State involvement.
“Hopefully, in years to come this will become a tradition,” PHC President Paige Rothaus (senior-advertising) said.