Student section to be christened

Duke University has the Cameron Crazies, University of Wisconsin-Madison has the Grateful Red and Marquette will have its own student section name Oct. 15.

Naming the student section would increase student attendance and improve the overall basketball experience, said MUSG Senator Dan Callendriello, a College of Business Administration sophomore.

Students were able to suggest names through Oct. 3, said MUSG Vice President of Communications Nicole Garland, a senior in the College of Business Administration.

Garland said student input could mean a more vested interest in the student section.

"If you can really have pride in something, it'll give you more incentive to go to the game," she said.

Student section names are common throughout the country and Marquette has discussed it informally for some time, said Craig Pintens, assistant athletics director of marketing and sales.

Tom Crean, men's basketball head coach, picked his top three nominations and students will be able to vote for either the Goldrush, the Golden Avalanche or Crean's Crew. The final name of the student section will be announced at Midnight Madness Oct. 15 at the Al McGuire Center.

The winning student will receive a prize package, probably with autographed paraphernalia from the basketball team and possibly tickets, said Senator Brian Collar, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Pintens said the inclusion of student input in the process will give the students ownership.

"By allowing the students to have a real voice it will provide a student section name that students will be happy with," Pintens said.

MUSG attempted to acquire more lower level seating in the student section.

Callendriello and Collar discussed the issue with the athletic department and presented up to 200 student section reseating solutions, according to Collar.

Negotiations were unsuccessful. Student section expansion was not financially possible at this time with the present attendance, Callendriello and Collar said.

Garland said the student government surveyed students and over 2,500 responded they were concerned about adequate student seating.

Callendriello said he expected more season ticket-holders next year and more people coming to nine or 10 games in the Big East Conference.

Student attendance has increased over the past few years, Garland said. It would be logical to assume attendance will increase in the near future.

Garland said the student section name is an ongoing process to improve the basketball experience at the school.