Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Athletics and Greek Life team up to try and boost student attendance at sporting events

By Mollie Walker

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(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts men’s basketball team’s game against Georgia on Dec. 16 marked the beginning of a partnership between the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council and UMass Athletics, with the goal of boosting student attendance at UMass sporting events.

“The Interfraternity Council is always looking for ways to broaden their impact on campus in a positive manner,” President of IFC, Christian Cunnie said. “Working alongside the team at UMass Athletics has been such a great experience, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Over 300 members of Greek Life attended the Saturday matchup and helped contribute to UMass men’s basketball’s most crowded home game of the year, as 4,744 people were in attendance.

According to Cunnie, who is a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, the top two Greek organizations with the most members in attendance will receive money for philanthropy purposes.

“The sorority and fraternity system here at UMass is invested in making sure the philanthropic work we do here stays a priority of ours and this was surely one way to help reinforce that,” Cunnie said.

Maxine Wisenfeld, President of the Panhellenic Council, believes that Greek Life has the ability to influence school spirit and passion for its sports teams onto the rest of the student body.

“Having such a great attendance at that game, I believe is the beginning of a long-lasting relationship between Athletics and Greek Life,” Wisenfeld—a member of Sigma Delta Tau—said.

Alan Pandiani, Associate Athletic Director for Sales and Fan Experience, said that attending an IFC board meeting that Michael Wiseman, Dean of Greek Life, invited him to sparked the beginning of the partnership.

“It’s a truly symbiotic relationship as we, Athletics and Greek Life, each provide something the other seeks,” Pandiani said.

“In [Athletics] case, we want loyal, passionate, and committed fans,” he said. “Conversely, we provide IFC and Panhel with platforms to increase member engagement, grow camaraderie amongst Greek organizations and enhance campus visibility.”

The 40-plus Greek organizations on campus hope to grow their relationship with the Athletics Department in order to continue growing the student presence at games.

According to the Pandiani, “Panhel and IFC have exhibited nothing but professionalism, drive, and legitimate care for helping to bolster the image and popularity of Athletics on campus.”

Mollie Walker can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at MWalker2019.

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