SCU Ruff Riders Welcome Students To Campus

Sept. 17, 2001

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University saw 2,200 students flood the mission campus on Saturday and Sunday as part of Welcome Weekend 2001. Hundreds of cars filled with parents, students and loads of belongings lined the surrounding streets of the university waiting to drop off sons and daughters with their microwaves, boom boxes, clothes, linen and backpacks.

One activity on the schedule of events for the students on Saturday was "Get Organized." Approximately 50 tables were set up in Santa Clara Mall for campus departments, student organizations and outside vendors to display and promote their product, service or spirit.

Seniors Blaze Smallwood and Brendan Donkers, co-presidents of the SCU Ruff Riders, were part of the welcoming crew, directing the SCU freshmen to the group's table. The Ruff Riders, Santa Clara's official student spirit club and largest student organization boasting 1,100 members, had several members running operations on Saturday which included registering new members to the club, passing out club t-shirts and food coupons, as well as dancing to a few tunes played on their accompanying stereo system.

"I'm very excited for the upcoming athletic season," said Smallwood. "We have a tough task in replacing our founder's position (graduated senior Kevin McDonough), however we are encouraged by the continued growth and interest in the club that will no doubt help us during the year."

The Ruff Riders began in 1999 and enters its third year with lofty expectations. Last year's membership grew to nearly 1,100 students (roughly one-quarter of the SCU undergraduate enrollment) and this year's goal is 1,500 members. "I think everyone should be a Ruff Rider as it's a great way to meet lots of people and enjoy sporting events at the same time" remarked Donckers.

SCU students may join the Ruff Riders for a $40 fee. Membership privileges include free admission to all SCU athletic events, club t-shirt, preferred seating, gameday specials such as 50% off all food at Stuft Pizza - the club's primary sponsor and valuable discounts on and off campus.

To join online, click here or stop by the SCU Athletic Marketing office for more detials.