Rider University’s campus turned a new shade of cranberry as students now show their school pride by wearing the official color every Wednesday.
The Lawrenceville Student Government Association (SGA) urged students to wear their Rider gear on Wednesdays to promote school unity and pride, said Cara Giovinazzo, the SGA Spirits and Traditions Chair, who’s in charge of spreading the word about the new program.
“It’s just asking you to wear your school colors,” said Giovinazzo. “It’s just to have pride in where you go to school.”
Some students like the idea of Cranberry Wednesday but do not think it will take hold as a Rider tradition.
“I think it is a good idea, but I don’t think it will last throughout the whole semester,” said sophomore Jackie Murtha.
The idea was inspired by SGA’s visit to Texas A&M University. Here the group noticed the students wore their school’s colors and were proud to do it, said Giovinazzo.
“I just thought that it was something easy that everyone could do,” said Giovinazzo. “Hopefully, eventually, it would turn into a tradition, that we’d want to do it, not that we were told to do it.”
It is preferable that students wear cranberry gear; however, the shirts do not have to be all cranberry. Shirts may be multicolored, but should have cranberry writing on them, according to Giovinazzo.
“You don’t have to wear all cranberry, it’s just official Rider colors,” said Giovinazzo. “I think people think that you can’t wear a Rider athletic shirt, but I have a Rider athletic shirt that’s different colors but with cranberry writing; that works.”
Some students who did not wear cranberry shirts on Wednesdays said they simply forgot. Freshman Leeann Sinpatanasakul suggested that the day be moved from Wednesday to Friday because it is easier to remember. Other students said they just needed to be reminded.
“If someone bothers to remind me, I’d gladly attempt to remember to [wear cranberry],” said sophomore Marius Pascale.
Giovinazzo said she would like to see SGA make shirts that can be given away at events because there are some students who said they did not own any Rider cranberry shirts. Sophomore Heather Rubinstein was among the students who said she would wear cranberry but did not have any cranberry shirts that she liked.
Even though Cranberry Wednesdays are in effect, there has yet to be a spike in the number of shirts sold at the bookstore.
Joe Judge, the general manager at Rider’s bookstore, said he has yet to see a significant increase in sales. However, he believes that with more marketing and word-spreading, there will be an increase.
“I would imagine I would see an increase in T-shirt and sweatshirt sales soon, especially with the new logos,” said Judge. “It is a great idea. Rider could use a little more school pride.”
Giovinazzo said that it would take time for the word to spread before more people get involved. She also believes that the program would be more effective if faculty and staff got involved. A Facebook group was also created to get students interested.