Thunder Nation and the Revival of the Student Section as We Know It

No matter where you go to get your education, there is something to be said about what you did and how you got you there. Taking pride in your accomplishments and what you stand for is why people wear a badge of honor when they hear their schools name come up in conversation. The new student group on campus, Thunder Nation, is doing their best to promote the school, get people to games, to create that “big school feel” in a small school environment. Led by student president Brian Craig, Thunder Nation is all about being loud, being proud, and supporting your Trine University sports teams.

Photo by: Erik Schnarr

Photo by: Erik Schnarr

The organization was created several years after the previous student organization all about school spirit, the “Blue Crew” disbanded.  Activity director Sean Collins talked about his fond memories of the Blue Crew as a freshman, and how it inspired the small group of founders to create Thunder Nation: “…it was a lot of fun just seeing them at the football games and then it just kind of died off and disappeared [after] the girl that was the president and ran it graduated.” Thunder Nation would have its first big event last spring starting with a white-out event at a home basketball game. The group continued to set up theme nights during the basketball season, even traveling to rival Adrian College to pull for the team.

Next would come official meetings, in which Collins estimates that they “have a core group of six or eight of us” who regularly attend. The members, who primarily consist of football players, are trying to expand and add more variety, get their voice out so there can be a few representatives from every sport to help coordinate events and to “…bounce ideas off of.”

Photo by: Erik Schnarr

Photo by: Erik Schnarr

This year, after not being able to do much promoting in the early fall after the first game of football season due to their in season commitments, they have gotten more involved and organized since the end of football season.  According to Thunder Nation vice president Will Crystal, he stated “…last year we really didn’t have any structure for the game like we [do now].” He went on, talking about their plans after for the spring semester, which include “trying to get six different themes for next semester and then trying to get two road buses for the Hope and Calvin games.” Other ideas they want to try at some point in the future our a “Midnight Madness” for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as help establish a rowdy student section for softball and baseball later this spring.

 

Photo by: Erik Schnarr

Photo by: Erik Schnarr

The biggest expressions of concern by the members of the organization is the student run organization sticking, avoiding the same fate as the Blue Crew. While their primary goal is to raise the profile of the student fan base, Crystal believes it is about retention as well. Collins elaborated, talking about how “…on a Saturday afternoon everyone is just sitting in their room watching football games or TV and bumming around. Now with the new student section it gives them something to do.” They want to see the creations of their labor succeed, and they are seeking out anyone and everyone who wants to have their voice heard. For all the students out there who want to express their sense of pride about their school, it couldn’t get any better than Thunder Nation.

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