Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Spectator turnout for athletic games climbs thanks to Calvin Gameday and campus leaders

Recently, school spirit at Calvin’s athletic events has increased. The football scrimmage had over 3,000 attendees, the men’s basketball Calvin vs. Hope rivalry game was sold out for the first time since the pandemic, and the first home men’s volleyball game had a turnout of over 2,000 spectators. Increasing turnout and excitement around athletics has been a university effort between President Boer, student senate and Calvin Gameday.

Marketing home games and rivalry games to Calvin students has been a conscious effort by Calvin Gameday; the success of Calvin sports teams has helped their cause. Calvin Gameday is a student-led group that works with Calvin Athletics to “make athletic events accessible for all students”, according to junior Graciana Henning. Henning told Chimes that Calvin Gameday markets games on social media to ensure that students are educated on athletic events happening on campus. By posting “more graphics, getting video content of athletes out and also content of students at games and athletic events so that people can see themselves on social media,” Henning said the Gameday hopes to increase turnout.

Calvin Gameday also hosts other on-campus events to get students involved, such as Midknight Madness, a Halloween costume event aimed to get students excited about the basketball season. Calvin Gameday has also incorporated Winning Wednesdays into their list of activities, which entails a group game, food and prizes after a Wednesday home game. Creating incentives to attend events is a big part of getting students excited about attending Calvin athletic events, Henning told Chimes.

Calvin Gameday coordinates with the student senate to plan tailgates with free food and free fan buses to Calvin at Hope games. 

A lot of [senator] projects are focused on ‘How can we increase turnout at [student org] events and games.’

Student senate also plays a role in the increase of student excitement around athletics. Student body President Bear de Boo told Chimes that the student senate has changed their approach of getting students involved in on-campus events with a more “grassroots approach.”  Instead of having student senators attend mandatory office hours, de Boo has advised his cabinet to go into the Calvin community and connect with student organizations at their events. “A lot of [senator] projects are focused on ‘How can we increase turnout at [student org] events and games,’” de Boo said.  

President Boer has worked with the student senate to increase turnout and generate excitement for Calvin events. “I am thankful for the ways we are partnering with the student senate to increase student turnout at both athletic events…I am grateful for our students, coaches, staff and profs who perform with excellence, making these events ones you don’t want to miss,” Boer told Chimes in an email.

It’s an exciting time to be at Calvin.

De Boo added that student incentives “work sometimes but are not flawless.” De Boo and President Boer’s original plan for the home rivalry game was to treat the dorm with the highest attendance to a pizza party at President Boer’s home. “A week [went] by and we only got one response from a dorm president,” de Boo said. After that instance, the student senate has pivoted their strategy to “a lot of word of mouth and a lot of social media… it’s tedious, but it works.”

President Boer noted that alumni have also noticed a shift in Calvin’s school spirit. “It’s clear school spirit is building at Calvin,” Boer said. “I notice it when I talk with alums all over the world and I see it on campus as more and more people are sporting maroon and gold and coming out to support our students. It’s an exciting time to be at Calvin.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Calvin University Chimes Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *