On Saturday, Penn State students will have a chance to showcase unity and celebrate tradition. Two separate student-run organizations are initializing color themes for Penn State’s (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten) noon game against Northwestern on Saturday: Nittanyville with the student whiteout and Lion Ambassadors with a black and pink S-Zone.
Nittanyville’s initiative came as a result of Northwestern (5-0, 1-0) rising in the AP Poll this week and landing at No. 24.
Nittanyville President Troy Weller (senior-communications) explains the importance this whiteout conveys.
“I think if you have 20,000 students wearing the same color, it is intimidating,” Weller said. “It shows that we’re all on the same page.”
Penn State student Matt Trabold (senior-broadcast journalism) has been a part of Nittanyville for the past two years and said he is excited for the whiteout.
“As a unified fan base, it’d be special,” Trabold said. “It is very fitting to have a caliber of a ranked opponent like Northwestern to have the whiteout for.”
Nittany Lions Den, a Penn State blogging site, started the idea and Nittanyville used the power of social media to spread the word on Monday. Events such as this are sometimes made on Facebook to draw attention.
An event titled “Student White-Out: Northwestern” was created on the social media site. Nittanyville Homecoming Chair, Scott Lattimer (senior-civil engineering), talked about how Facebook was used.
“A lot of people are willing to get involved,” said Lattimer. “Only 100 kids were invited as of 9 a.m., now at 5 p.m. it’s up to at least 1,500 people.”
Facebook has been helpful in getting students’ attention, and Weller said Twitter is helpful for spreading the word among other media outlets and large groups of people. Several players, such as senior cornerback Stephon Morris and redshirt junior tight end Garry Gilliam, tweeted about the whiteout on Monday as well.
“We started it from the Nittanyville account and tweeted it at players, ESPN Big Ten, anyone that has a large following,” Weller said.
Meanwhile, Lion Ambassadors is an organization at Penn State that likes to shine light on past Penn State traditions to students.
Logan Cawley, the president of Lion Ambassadors, (senior- biology), said the organization will be handing out black and pink colored shirts for those sitting in the S-Zone at the game.
“It is a nice reminder to see where we came from,” Cawley said.
Cawley added the Lion Ambassadors have had this in the works since last summer and were approved by athletics.
Penn State’s original colors were pink and black long ago, but the pink faded to white because of the sun. That is how the colors became blue and white.