For the second time in three years, the student spirit group on campus will have a new name.
Unlike the change from “Completely Insane Anteaters” (CIA) last year to “Eater Nation,” students will have complete say in determining the new group name. Last Wednesday, an invitation for students to submit nominations for the new group name was announced in an e-mail sent out by Sports Marketing Coordinator Nick Coromelas with the subject line “What Do We Want To Be Known As?”
“We went out to some fellow colleagues, like at UCLA, and asked them how their student groups came to be,” Coromelas said. “That’s why we’re throwing it out to current students, asking them what they want [the UCI spirit group] to be named, so that the group can take off that way.”
Coromelas said a main reason for the change was because “Eater Nation” had expanded to become something more than just the student spirit group.
“I mean it’s a good thing … the community has really embraced Eater nation,” Coromelas said. “Students are still a part of Eater Nation, but we want to give them more of an identity, who they are. That’s why we want them to create it.”
Suggestion cans have been placed at the dining halls around campus, as well as the book store and the ARC. Students have until May 19 to submit their nominations to the cans, or e-mail them to email@example.com. The top five suggestions will be selected by Sports Marketing, and students will then have until June 4 to vote for the grand winner. On the UCI athletics website, the person who submits the winning nomination will reportedly receive recognition at Reggaefest (when the winning name will be announced), Courtside tickets to a 2010 men’s basketball game, free In-N-Out for a month, and “much much more!”
Members of the CIA have tried to rally the current students to re-instate the old name, starting a Facebook group titled “We want to be known as CIA!” However, 2008-2009 CIA president Goldie Chan (UCI ’09) seemed to emphasize not the specific name of CIA, but a return to the more rambunctious spirit of those CIA-led groups of yore.
“There has been a lot of disagreement between current students and Alums about bringing CIA back,” Chan said. “Many say that CIA is dead and can no longer be saved. Some say that it is time for a new spirit group. Whatever it may be, UCI students need to step up! So if it comes down to Zot Squad, Peter’s Leaders, Eater Nation, CIA, or whatever, there must be a change. A change of attitude.”
Coromelas was not against a return to the old name, if that was what the students decided upon.
“We really want what current students want, what they embrace, what they want to be. That’s the whole campaign,” Coromelas said. “We’re not opposed to any suggestions.”
That the voting for a potential new spirit group name coincides with the new Russell Turner era at UCI could also be interesting. Several schools base their group names around their head coach, such as Long Beach State’s Monson Maniacs, inspired by 49ers Head Coach Dan Monson.
“We’re hoping to get the new basketball coach, Russ Turner, to do like an ice cream social the week of voting at Middle Earth or Mesa Court,” Coromelas said. “He would be meeting students but also create some kind of festive spirit for voting for the new student group.”
Although “Eater Nation” will still be around, it will become more of a pervasive spirit that all Anteater fans can relate to. Whichever name is ultimately chosen from this contest will be the name of the student spirit group for the foreseeable future, and the name UCI students will all be wearing on their t-shirts given to the spirit group at the beginning of the basketball season.