Oct. 8, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Just two weeks into the fall quarter, the largest student organization on the Santa Clara University campus continues to get bigger.
Membership in the Ruff Riders, the official student booster club of SCU Athletics, has increased to a record level of over 1,100 members, largely due to a new organizational format featuring a one-time fee associated with joining the club. With approximately 4,500 undergraduate students at SCU, Ruff Rider membership accounts for nearly one-quarter of the school's student population.
All Santa Clara University undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to join for a one-time cost of $40, which provides membership in the Ruff Riders throughout their time as a SCU student. The fee provides admission to every Bronco sporting event, preferred seating at men's basketball, a club t-shirt each year and access to special events, including an annual trip to the West Coast Conference Basketball Tournament.
"It is great to know that so many people are interested in Bronco athletics this year," said Brett Waller, the 2002 club co-president. "We have some top ranked teams that need all the support they can get. The record number of Ruff Riders this year only exemplifies what the organization stands for, a club that creates and increases student spirit in athletics making the atmosphere fun and exciting."
The Ruff Riders have been the largest student organization on campus for the last four years and have won numerous student life and leadership awards during that time. Founder and former president Kevin McDonough was awarded the outstanding club award in 2000-2001, while Brandon Donckers, the 2001-2002 co-president, was the university's valedictorian last spring.
The organization began in 1999 under the direction of McDonough, university and athletic department officials. It grew from 745 members its first season to a previous-record 932 in 2000-2001.
The Ruff Riders' trademark is a chorus from a popular song by rap artist DMX that states "Stop, drop, shut 'em down open up shop Oh, no That's how Ruff Ryders roll." Members of the group can be identifed at Bronco athletic events through their distinctive long-sleeve Ruff Rider t-shirts.
"The Ruff Riders play a significant role in increasing school spirit and giving our athletic teams a distinct advantage when playing at home," said Cheryl L. Levick, SCU's director of athletics and recreation. "We would like every student at SCU to be a member and help us continue down the path of moving our entire athletics program to national prominence."
Click here to learn more about the Ruff Riders or to join online.