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Support for Marist Athletics on CODE RED alert

By Zach Dooley
On October 18, 2012


     "Whether you're on the field or in the stands, we're all Red Foxes."

     That's the slogan of the CODE RED initiative, a yearly program run by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), designed to get athletes and students alike to come out and support the Marist athletic teams.  Unlike in years past, the program will focus on just one event this semester, the volleyball match against Iona on Wednesday Oct. 24.

     The SAAC is comprised of students from all of the varsity sports programs at Marist, with two players from each team representing each team.  The committee is designed to give students a voice in the athletic department, as well as to connect student-athletes with their classmates in the general student population.  SAAC members are also given opportunities to grow as leaders via their time with the program.

     The CODE RED initiative is the SAAC's way of connecting with students, encouraging them to come out and support their athletic teams.  CODE RED spreads the word of whichever game they are promoting, this semester being women's volleyball, and offers raffles and giveaways at the games, as an incentive for student support.

     "We are asking the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to spread the word to their teammates and to their friends in general, the general student body," Marist Associate Athletic Director Elizabeth Donahue said.  "We have some email's the week of to promote the event and on the day of the event we're having T-shirts promoting the event, food and giveaways."

     The first 100 students who attend the designated CODE RED event will receive a free T-shirt, as a testament to the support they are showing for the program and their Red Foxes on the court. 

     One lucky student will even get to be as involved as the players and coaches themselves, as SAAC has organized for a guest coach during the match, where one student will be on the bench with the team throughout the game.

     "When we did [the initiative] last year, people really seemed to enjoy that aspect, because they don't really get to see that side of it," Donohue said.  "They get to go in the locker-room, and they usually walk away with a shirt or memento from the team, which is good."

     One aspect of the CODE RED program that has been changed for this year was narrowing down the enterprise to just one game for the fall semester.  After trying to get the support at multiple games last year, the SAAC felt that targeting one game this fall would be the best way to get student support. 

     "I think if it's one bigger event, then they're going to hear about it a little bit more and when they come to the event there will be more going on," Donohue said.  "As a result the giveaways will be bigger, and the SAAC that runs it, can focus all of their attention on just the one event."

     Donohue believes that students are starting to "become more in tune with the saying CODE RED" and as a result, this will drive more and more students to games in the spring and into next year.  Similarly, help from the Marist's student booster club, known to most as Red Fox Nation, was a huge part in getting the student turnout they did last year, and will continue to drive those numbers upward.

     "Last year the athletes did a good job of supporting other athletes, but now it's taking it a step further," she said.  "The student booster club helped us last year to spread the word, a lot of their members were our student coaches and it's a good collaboration."

     So whether you are a booster club member, a student-athlete, or even just a regular student looking to show some school spirit, come out to the women's volleyball match next Wednesday, enjoy some free food, maybe land a T-shirt and support your fellow classmates.  Because regardless of what activities you do here, we are all Red Foxes. 

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