This past fall, the Students’ Association organized the ‘Fill Fauver/Pack the Palestra” initiative to try and increase excitement around UR athletics. The program has seen some success, such as at the men’s soccer game in early September, but has not been able to generate a consistent and substantial fan base at sporting events. A field hockey game is still lucky to see more than 30 fans in the stands that aren’t parents.

The SA’s efforts are notable SA President and senior Eric Sansky and Vice President and senior Tyler Socash have really followed through on their campaign platform and poured a lot of energy into this initiative. However, these efforts alone aren’t enough to address the lack of student support at sporting events. Better collaboration with the athletic department could prove to be successful in sustaining fan support a formal partnership between the SA and the Varsity Student Athlete’s Advisory Committee to offer more incentives for students to go to games could be an effective way to garner more enthusiasm from the student body. VSAAC’s participation is essential because the organization would bring an athlete’s perspective to the table.

Additionally, soliciting the help of fraternities and sororities, who are already an integral part of the University’s community, would also allow for the SA’s original idea to become a more all-encompassing effort. Sororities and fraternities could sponsor one or two games throughout a sport’s season and commit themselves to donating time and effort to publicizing the game.

Sustaining student support and enthusiasm throughout a sport’s entire season should be the focus of the collaboration between these groups. Generating interest in a sport early and often should be the priority rather than focusing all the energy on just one event during a season.

It is not just the SA’s or the Athletic Department’s responsibility to inspire fan support. The student body has shown that it takes pride in its student groups look at a packed Strong Auditorium for a Midnight Ramblers concert. But at the same time, students have, as a whole, proven to be apathetic to the accomplishments of athletes. Fans provide a sporting event with an immeasurable and essential environment an environment that our athletes deserve.

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