UTEP’s Student Government Association wants the Miner Nation to wear orange on Fridays to build school spirit as part of the University’s Centennial Celebration … and possibly earn a discount at the same time.
The SGA started the Orange Fridays concept during the spring 2012 semester to create a tradition as the University approaches its 100th birthday in 2014. The goal is to enhance the pride and camaraderie among Miners students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of The University of Texas at El Paso, said Tanya Sue Maestas, SGA president.
“The scope is still growing,” she said. “The students I talk to like it. I think it’s pretty exciting.”
UTEP’s Orange Fridays campaign officially begins Aug. 31 to coincide with the annual back-to-school blowout, Minerpalooza, that evening and the Sept. 1 football home opener against the University of Oklahoma.
“I would love to see everyone in orange. It would be great for school spirit,” said Daniel Veale, UTEP athletics director of marketing and promotions. He said the promotion is an opportunity for the University —and the community – to get excited about the upcoming game.
He said the Athletics Department continues to work on ways it can get involved in Orange Fridays. One idea being considered is for a team from the department to visit other departments around campus and reward their level of orange with prizes such as T-shirts, Texas Western College (now UTEP) backpacks, pick flags, maracas, foam picks and drink cozies.
The SGA has worked with UTEP’s Division of Student Affairs and University Communications to create a marketing campaign that will extend into the community, said Catie McCorry-Andalis, associate vice president for student life and dean of students.
“It’s a simple concept, but one we all can connect with,” she said.
One of the idea’s biggest supporters is University President Diana Natalicio.
“Since UTEP’s founding in 1914, students, faculty and staff have come from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds. What we all share is our association with this great university. We are all UTEP Miners,” she said. “Today, as we approach UTEP’s 100th anniversary, the call to wear orange on Fridays gives us all the opportunity to show pride in our distinguished history and to affirm our aspirations for an even brighter future as UTEP becomes the first national research university with a 21st century student demographic.”
To make it a little easier for students, SGA representatives will offer an official “Orange Fridays” T-shirt for free at its booth during Welcome Week activities.
Students who wear orange on Orange Fridays will get a discount on clothing and gift items purchased at the University Bookstore, not including clearance items, said Fernando Padula, bookstore director. UTEP faculty and staff already get a 15 percent discount, but an additional percentage will be subtracted on Fridays if the buyers wear orange, he said.
“The whole point is to get people to wear orange and build school spirit,” Padula said. “I think this has huge potential. I hope the spirit will stay strong the entire year.”
Daniel Perez is a senior writer in UTEP's Office of University Communications.