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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

We’re number one in Washington

This photo was taken by Mrs. penny, shortly after Caleb Williams visit to Gonzaga.

Even before my first day on Eye Street as a student, I got a glimpse of what it meant to be a part of the booster club at Gonzaga. During freshman orientation, before the official first day of school, my fellow freshmen and I were packed into the stands overlooking the field. We were then forced to repeat and learn chants over and over again while we watched big guys in funny costumes do silly dances and yell at the top of their lungs. 

To me, the chants had no meaning and to be honest they did not make any sense. 

“You can’t ride my little red wagon the front seats broke and the axles draggin” were words that I heard over and over again, and I still could not figure out how they had anything to do with Gonzaga or even any sport or club that the school offered. I admit I was ignorant “fresh meat,” and I did not have a full grasp on a lot of concepts, but even today I have no idea where that chant came from. My freshman year I went to almost every big sporting event, and I constantly heard the most deranged chants and sayings from all the upperclassmen. I thought they were funny, and I would laugh with my friends, but all it was to me was a bit of humor. However, I loved humor and most of all making a crowd laugh, so ever sense that freshmen orientation I always wanted to be a part of those silly kids. 

Four years later, after a full year of being a crucial part of the booster club, my whole perception on the funny chants and silly kids has changed. Being a member of the booster club is one of the most vital roles on campus. The members are the most recognizable faces on campus, as you see them in the front of every sporting game, pep rally, and big event at Gonzaga. With great popularity comes great responsibility. The booster club members have to be leaders who guide the students and let them know when they are doing great, and also when they go too far. It is our job to make sure that our fellow students do right when no one is watching, in a way that no teacher or adult could tell them. From this, I learned the value of being a leader and the importance of setting a good example for younger kids. It is critical to be funny and hyper during big events, yet doing it in a way that is still respectful and represents what it means to be a Gonzaga man. 

As a booster, I also began to understand what the crazy chants were meant to do. The words by themselves serve no purpose, but add yelling, and a crowd of hundreds of students and you create a brotherhood and family of people restless to do whatever they can to help their fellow classmates win a game. The chants are less about sending a message through words, but more about building a feeling of hope and excitement as people you see in the classroom march down the field or court on their way to victory. 

Through my four years at Gonzaga, I’ve been able to watch, learn and lead the booster club, and it has taught me many lessons along the way. The most important is that value does not take a definite form; it is created by people that have the same goal.

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