SGA unveils new Husky spirit shirt

SGA unveils new Husky spirit shirt

Student Government Association (SGA) President Rogan O’Handley has a burning question on his mind for all Northeastern students this month: “Are you Diehard?”

SGA unveiled its new “DieHard Dog” T-shirt last week, which will be free for students, as SGA hopes to incorporate the T-shirt as the “core” element in their campaign to increase school spirit on campus.

“The shirt is the seed for school spirit to develop into something greater,” O’Handley said.

Students will be given a chance to grab one of the new shirts starting Oct. 21 at the Homecoming football game, O’Handley said. Fifteen hundred shirts have been printed so far. O’Handley said the first few hundred Northeastern students will be given a shirt when they enter the game, with the remainder being distributed at other Homecoming events held during the week.

The ideal goal is to make sure every Northeastern student has a T-shirt, O’Handley said, adding that he expects extreme demand for more of the shirts to be printed.

“There is a proposition on table to purchase more if needed,” he said. “We wanted to make sure [the shirt] tookoff before over-investing.”

O’Handley appointed the DieHard Dog committee, which worked throughout the summer on the T-shirt proposal with members of the NUfanzone, commonly known as “The DogHouse,” as well as the Athletics Department and the Alumni and Student Affairs offices.

“Lack of prominent school spirit is an issue that students brought up constantly,” he said. “[It] requires morphing of culture, which is not easy to accomplish. Our goal is to centralize school spirit into one concept.”

O’Handley said the small pockets of school spirit around the university need to be united. The fan shirt would be a way to unify the entire student body under the single notion of being a DieHard Dog and would expand the “DogHouse” beyond showing support primarily at hockey games, he said.

O’Handley said the idea behind the fan shirt came directly from the Boston College Superfan shirts. BC students wear these bright gold shirts, labeled “Superfan,” at the games to show support. The Superfan was conceived eight years ago by two BC juniors who wanted to break free of the “sit down and shut up” mentality that had infiltrated athletic competitions, according to the Superfan website.

In the past, the Northeastern Athletics Department annually printed similar red shirts, which they “scrapped” this year to fund the Diehard shirt with the support of the Office of Student Affairs, said Phil Signoroni, director of marketing and promotions for athletics.

O’Handley said the new team “spiced up” the old design to incorporate the term “the Doghouse” on the front and “Diehard Dog” on the back, so that everyone who wears the shirt can be part of the DogHouse.

Andy Baum, a middler biology and secondary education major, said he has never been to a Northeastern athletic event, but likes the new T-shirt and thinks it will work well as a way to unify fans. The main reason Baum said he doesn’t attend football games is because the field is “so far away,” and he is unaware of any type of shuttle service to transport students.

Sophomore business major Laura Minott agreed that the football stadium being off-campus, as well as a lack of publicity, are the reasons she has never been to a game. However, Minott said, the new T-shirts might get her to go to at least one this year.

As the Superfan became a staple of BC athletics, O’Handley said he hopes in the future Northeastern will be associated with the “Diehard Dog.”

The term “DieHard Dog” is not a new concept in the world of Northeastern athletics. In 2004, alumni brothers Rich and Paul Perillo started a magazine and website publication “to provide a voice for the fans of Northeastern’s athletic teams,” according to the website

Dieharddogs.com.

The independent publication, which is not affiliated with the university, reports on news and the performance of Northeastern teams and provides a forum for student and alumni fans to post comments and opinions.

“We want to have the information about Northeastern sports that is nowhere else: the recruiting rumors, the insider details on hirings and firings, and the commentary that sources like GONU.com and the team media guides just can’t provide. In order to do it, we want as much input as possible from you – the fans,” the website said. Buzz about the new Diehard Dog T-shirt has already made its way to the open forums on the site.

Rich Perillo said student government approached him to get to permission to use the term “Diehard Dog,” but other than that they have nothing to do with the spirit campaign.

With the T-shirt as the cornerstone for the spirit campaign, SGA is working on other programs to get more students out to the games. A primary proposal is an incentive program which will reward students for attending multiple games. The purpose is to get students who wouldn’t otherwise go to games to attend, O’Handley said.

While the “Ncentive” program is not finalized and specific details cannot yet be confirmed, the program would allow students to earn points as they swipe their Husky Card upon entering hockey, football and basketball games, O’Handley said.

Students would be able to view their point totals through the athletics website, GONU.com. After reaching certain benchmarks, they would have the opportunity to earn prizes, he said. For example, after earning five points by attending five games, students can earn a free T-shirt-shaped beverage holder known as a coozie. Students would also be entered into raffles to win larger prizes like jerseys, sweatshirts and a grand prize of a vacation package, O’Handley said.

The technology of the points database and use of the Husky Cards to swipe into games needs to be worked out before the program can be initiated, which will ideally be in time for the hockey and basketball seasons, Signoroni said.

Signoroni said athletics is “continuously trying to improve” programming at games and is working to increase corporate partners and prizes given out at events.

O’Handley said the Student Affairs Committee of SGA working on other incentives, like special performances at halftime and in between periods, as well as better pre-game events. One goal is to see more events where alcohol can be available for students of legal drinking age. SGA is also working with the Office of Alumni Relations to plan events at the new Alumni Center, he said.

Leave a Reply