Another year at UCI is under way and for that reason we should all be reminded what school spirit is, and for those who are new to our campus, provide a lesson of UCI’s traditions and values.
So, to students old and new, listen to what your fellow students do around here for school spirit.
You may learn something new.
Some may think that what we do to show school spirit can only be seen at a sporting event, but they are mistaken.
Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Promotions Blake Sasaki said they are ‘not just athletic traditions, they are school traditions that carry on throughout campus.’
Like almost every other school that has a hand sign, we have ours; the Rip’em Eaters.
First created and introduced by Sasaki after going to a Texas University football game where they proudly showed off their Hook’em Horns, the Rip’em Eaters hand sign quickly become a staple at UCI after being adopted only three years ago.
Marketing Assistant Robert Ray mentions that when they do outreach on-campus, ‘kids and people already know about the traditions. Now it’s more of explaining the origin behind it.’
No one helps spread that tradition and spirit for UCI more than the Completely Insane Anteaters, also known as the CIA.
‘They are the largest student group on campus,’ Suzuki said.
With the help of CIA President Harvin Sethi, there is also a core of three to four students who work cooperatively as the group’s primary leadership team.
There are over 3,000 members in the CIA and it is still growing.
Membership is free and easy to do by just showing them your student ID when you sign up at any CIA-sponsored event.
You get the official bright yellow CIA shirt on the spot and you can also earn prizes through the points you earn from attending sponsored events.
The CIA’s main objective is to help promote school spirit.
Even Ray commented that the ‘CIA is what the traditional experience of being a part of this school is.’
There also is the MCIA, a branch of the CIA , and a modern dance team, made up of both men and women.
You are most likely to see them show off their dance moves at a UCI basketball halftime show or during time-outs.
Now let’s not forget that we have a school fight song.
Technically, it is the UC fight song, but every school in the system changes it a little to fit their own school’s traditions.
One thing that makes our song uniquely ours is the ‘zot.’
It is our war cry and was taken from its first appearance in the B.C. comic strip in 1965, which featured Peter the Anteater.
It was also the same year that the Anteater became our school’s mascot after a surprising landslide vote of 55.9 percent.
They chose the Anteater over the Golden Bears, Eagles, Seahawks and Unicorns.
Today Peter the Anteater can be seen cheering on our teams and home crowds at sporting events.
We all go to this school and should help foster some school spirit because we could use a boost of it.
Plus, it’s something that unifies us all as part of UCI.
And it is also a great way to be involved on campus.
There are also a lot of exciting things going on that should make you proud to be an Anteater, as well as inspire you to go out there and show your school pride.
For instance, did you know that ESPN’s ‘Best Damn Sports Show Ever’ is going to have a week-long special show where mascots around the country will compete against one another to find out who is the best mascot in the nation?
Only 32 school mascots were invited from a total of 60 and our very own Peter the Anteater was one of them.
Or that ABC will be at UCI on Oct. 19? Weatherman Garth Brooks will be doing a weather segment in the morning. The CIA and Peter were invited to come out and represent UCI.
These are two great events that will not only help promote our school, but will allow everyone to get involved as well.
The bottom line is to get active on campus. UCI is barely 40 years old, but slowly we are becoming more united through sporting events, school functions and organizations.
But why not kick it up a notch? It is already apparent that school participation is on the rise with both women’s and men’s sports getting the attention they deserve in the stands.
Sazaki knows that ‘we’re becoming more of a first choice campus. We have pride and traditions. We should be proud to be an Anteater.’
And why not?
Every student should know that in the end, each of them helps make a difference even in the outcome of a game.
One of UCI’s big campus events, Midnight Magic, will be held on Oct. 15.
There will be free food for all attendees and the men’s and women’s basketball teams will also be there.
UCI needs our school spirit. It’s easy and unites us as one Anteater body.
Now you just have to do something about it.