Newman University has a new way to spread some Jet spirit — the "Flight Crew."
The Crew is a new group on campus that will make regular appearances at games and other events. The main goal of the Flight Crew will be to increase student attendance at athletic games and also generate a higher level of spirit on campus.
The group came together in mid-January but has been in the works since the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester. Leading spirit initiatives such as tailgates, chants, and cheers in conjunction with athletic games is the goal for this newly formed group of students.
Led by Madison McCollum and Alexis Evelhaoch, the Flight Crew will have various committees and committee chairs to take on different tasks. Examples of the committees include PR/Marketing, Tailgates, and other gameday events.
First Year Experience Graduate Assistantship Jordan Frederking will advise and assist the group as they get acclimated, but eventually, the group leaders will take the reins. Frederking said the idea for a spirit group has been growing for a while. "The Office of Student Life, especially in the early fall semester, recognized that we would really love to see more students at games," she said. "And we’ve had students come to us and tell us they wanted to do this for us, but they didn’t know how to get started."
Frederking also said that there have been similar groups in the past, but they never solidified into something long-term. "We’ve been putting things in place to make sure this will be a sustainable group," she said. The group is going to meet with the Student Government Association in February so they can apply to become an official campus club.
Currently, there are 15 students on the Executive Committee. Frederking said they would love to see this group as a membership community in which all students have the opportunity to "join" by purchasing an inexpensive, official Flight Crew t-shirt that they could wear to all the games. Those details and plans, however, are something they will discuss in the future.
In the meantime, the Executive Committee of the Flight Crew held its first tailgate party, which took place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2 in the Gorges Atrium prior to the men's and women's basketball games.
Frederking said of the Flight Crew, "They’re really excited. I think so many of our students love Newman, its size and the experience they’re getting, but they do miss some of those big-school experiences."
The crew will focus on how to bring that "big-school spirit feel" to Newman by creating and executing exciting pre and post-game events, designating a student section in the stands of all the home games, and collaborating with the Newman University Spirit Team and band to come up with fun cheers and chants that all students can participate in.
For more information about the Flight Crew, contact Frederking at 316-942-4291, ext. 2825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.