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Student organization focuses on tradition

“Tradition, which is always old, is at the same time ever new because it is always reviving – born again in each new generation, to be lived and applied in a new and particular way,” according to author Thomas Merton in his novel “No Man Is an Island.”

The idea of tradition is the inspiration behind one particular student organization at Northeastern State University.

In with the old and in with the new- this is the thought behind the university sponsored, student led organization. NSU Traditions Council focuses on promoting school spirit, creating new traditions, as well as keeping the continued traditions of Northeastern alive.

The council works closely with NSU faculty and staff and the goal is to make every student’s time spent at the university a memorable one.  They meet once a week during the school year to discuss ideas and plan events.

“The council is responsible for planning and promoting different events and traditions for the student body,” Sarah Johnson, Coordinator of Campus Activities, explains.

So far the council has purchased a large spirit flag for athletic events, created the “Rowdy Crowd” to bolster school spirit, and hosted events, such as the Founders Day “Get your Green On” and the Last Lecture/Dr. Tiffany Maher Legacy Award.

The group established The Rowdy Crowd, which is a branch of NSU Traditions, a year ago after students spoke out about the lack of spirit in the student sections.

“We created Rowdy Crowd in an attempt to encourage NSU students to attend games and root for their team,” Morgan Helterbrand, the former Rowdy Crowd Chairperson, said.   

Rowdy Crowd creates themes for each home game at NSU, last year they put together the Silent Game, in which the crowd was asked to remain silent until the RiverHawks scored 10 points.  Cheers were completed with hands and waving towels, although no sounds were made.  As soon as the 10th  point was scored, the gymnasium erupts with spirit.

“Our goal for this upcoming year that we’re really working at are strengthening the Rowdy Crowd in an attempt to make our student section more lively and build up team spirit, Helterbrand said. “We’re also looking for new traditions to start.”

Traditions Council focuses on creating unity by forming traditions in which all NSU students, traditional, non-traditional and alumni, can participate.

“They are also helping to promote the passing of the coin students receive during freshmen orientation,” Johnson said. “This is the first year students will be graduating since the program was implemented.”

The NSU coin tradition began in the fall of 2010. Every fall, the new students receive a NSU coin at the annual coin ceremony. The idea came from the RiverHawk Engagement Committee. The coin is a token that represents NSU. Students are to keep the coin with them during their time at the university. At commencement, students will give the coin to someone who made a significant difference in their life during their time here. There are also activities periodically throughout the year that are related to the coin and its meaning. 

“It is super simple to get involved because all you have to do is show up to the meetings and help plan these events,” Helterbrand said. “We’re always looking for new members and new ideas.”

To help carry on traditions of the past, the council would like for NSU alumni to be involved in their efforts. They ask that alumni submit traditions from their time in attendance or to submit any traditions that they would like established.

Whether the goal is to bring back a thing of the past or begin something new, the NSU Traditions Council is here to get the party started.

If any alumni are interested in submitting suggestions to the NSU Traditions Council, please email The NSU Alumni Association will submit these ideas on the sender’s behalf.  

Published: 6/25/2014 3:11:00 PM

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