By Lauren Santye
Small cranberry-colored pins are becoming the new vehicle for Rider pride in an effort to enhance campus spirit.
“Our House” is a new school spirit campaign started by Rider’s current Student Government Association (SGA). It centers around the distribution of ‘Our House’ pins to students during the month of November.
Every Monday a new pin will be given out around the Lawrenceville campus with a different theme each week. The first pins said “Our House” with the goal of bringing students together under our house — Rider University — which was SGA’s platform, according to SGA President Lorelei Colbert.
“SGA didn’t want a regular event,” Colbert said. “We want to make pride a mentality so we made this a month-long event.”
During the second week, pins were given that said the names of Rider’s colleges and schools: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the School of Fine and Performing Arts, the School of Education and Westminster College of the Arts.
The third week will feature pins with different numbers. For example, if a student is on one of the 20 Division I sport teams, then that student will get a pin that says “20.” But athletes won’t be the only ones who receive a pin that week. It will include everyone from international to commuters and transfers, to those who stay on campus during weekends. Each type of student will be able to receive a number that represents their associated group. Colbert feels this is a way of “bridging the gaps.”
Colbert hopes the pins will help students feel more connected to the university and remove Rider’s suitcase school reputation.
Finally, during the last week at the end of November when everyone comes back from Thanksgiving break, students will receive a “Welcome back to Our House” pin.
“I personally love the idea,” said Isa Wisse, a senior public relations major and the SGA public relations chair. “It’s just something you can really build upon in the future, because right now the theme behind “Our House” is we’re all a part of Rider.”
If a student collects all four of his or her pins, that student can wear them to the Holiday Lighting Celebration on Nov. 30 in front of Moore Library where he or she will be eligible to win a free iPad.
For the past two years, Rider has not done the Holiday Lighting Celebration and Colbert believes its return will incite spirit too.
“In the past, I believe SGA did a survey and the results came back that they could cut the lights from the budget,” Colbert said. “Personally, as SGA president, I am a very spirited and enthusiastic person and I’ve been wanting these lights back since my freshman year.”
Wisse urged that the iPad giveaway at the lighting ceremony is more than an incentive to collect pins.
“It’s just something we’re doing to launch the event, but we really want to see this as a continuation of Rider pride on campus,” she said. “Students can wear their pins, collect their pins and trade their pins. They can wear them with pride to say ‘I go to Rider. I’m in 100 plus clubs. I’m a commuter. I’m a transfer student and this is our house.’”
According to Colbert, bringing the lights back will also bring smiles to the faces of campus community members.
“We think it’s a sign of hope,” she said. “We’re almost there — we’re almost at the end of the semester. The lights just make people happy.”
Carrie Lettiere, sophomore elementary education and American studies major feels the pins are a “great way to show school spirit without breaking the bank.”
Colbert wants to remind Rider students that, “it’s not just our house for this month — it’s our house, Rider pride from here on out. I hope more groups continue to show their Rider pride and get other groups to believe in their school. At the end of the day you need to be happy that this is your home, this is where you come from and you want to invite people and encourage other people to come, and I think sometimes we lose sight of that.”
Printed in the 11/16/12 edition