Group aims to turn crowds into Storm watchers


by Stacy Owens

Admit it. Liveliness and excitement are sometimes lacking in Simpson’s crowd at football games.

But, that’s just what the Simpson Storm Chasers are hoping to get out of Simpson’s student body. Their mission is to improve the overall Simpson athletic experience for athletes and non-athletes alike, to turn the Simpson crowd into true Storm watchers.

“We are planning tailgates for every home football game,” senior Erin Disney said. “We want it to be an event that people will be excited for, there will be food and prizes to win. We are looking to create a college-football atmosphere.”

Currently the Storm Chasers are a group of approximately 20 students who meet every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the Senate Room at Brenton Student Center.

“The meetings are informal and we’re really open to anyone who wants to join, athlete or non-athlete,” Disney said.

The Storm Chasers want to increase not only the attendance and participation at Simpson athletic events but create awareness of the upcoming athletic events, especially the less-recognized ones.

“We want people to stay on Simpson campus and go to the games,” Disney said.

Many organizations and departments are already excited about this new group on campus.

“We have support from SGA, Admissions, Alumni Relations, CAB and of course the Athletic Department,” senior Brett Heltne said.

Even Simpson’s higher-ups are excited about the club.

“We’ve met with them all and all are interested in seeing where it goes,” Disney said. “We’ve even met with President Byrd and he’s really supportive and looks forward to seeing our progress.”

Volleyball Coach Lana Smith is eager to see where this group goes as well.

“This is an excellent opportunity as a campus to showcase what we have going on here,” Smith said. “I want to see this group get off the ground and running. I believe they have a lot of excitement and I expect a lot of enthusiasm. It is also a great leadership opportunity.”

Smith thinks student athletic support at Simpson is lacking and the Storm Chasers could do a lot to improve it.

“We could definitely improve with student support of athletics, and this is a great way to promote us and all we have going on,” Smith said. “It is a great opportunity.”

The Storm Chasers can not only help get student spirit up but they can help the athletes.

“All athletes want to play in front of a supportive crowd and it can give us such a home-court advantage,” Smith said. “It definitely gets the momentum going.”

The Storm Chasers are hoping more people join their efforts to increase energy at Simpson athletic events on campus.

“We’re still looking for more people,” Disney said. “We’re looking for crowd leaders. We need a few people who are crazy and enthusiastic fans who can get the crowd going.”