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Monarch Maniacs Teach Freshmen to Be The Roar

Old Dominion University freshmen are getting a crash course today in all things Monarch.

All freshmen who live on campus are required to attend a rally in the Ted Constant Convocation Center, where they'll get a free lunch, then learn the school's fight song and other spirit traditions.

Oh the sacrifices kids make these days!

"I think students don't realize what great traditions we Monarchs have," said Aseem Rastogi, a senior management major who leads the Monarch Maniacs, ODU's student spirit group.

"I think everyone should learn the school fight song and the alma mater. I've had alums who've visited the campus tell me they still knew the alma mater, even though they hadn't been here in years."

Spirit activities are quietly happening on campus already. New Monarch paw prints have appeared on 49th Street, joining the freshly repainted paws along Kaufman Mall. For the past few weeks, the ODU Monarch Marching Band has been practicing diligently, preparing for the university's first football game in nearly 70 years, Sept. 5 against Chowan University.

"It's my fourth year here, and the difference between freshman year and now is incredible," he said. "You've got 4,600 people living on campus now. That really helps build a community."

Today, freshmen will gather at the Ted at 11 a.m. After lunch, there will be a "unity step" dance, performed by members of ODU fraternities and sororities. Then the newly minted Monarchs will learn the ODU fight song, the alma mater and the "Ice Cream and Cake" dance, a popular tradition at all home basketball games.

The Monarch Maniacs and the Office of Student Affairs and Leadership are organizing as many spirit events as they can during the first week of school, which will culminate in two days of celebration around the football opener.

But Rastogi hopes that Monarch pride and school spirit extends far beyond the first football game, with events like "Football to Football," which is aimed at bringing fans of ODU's soccer team to football games and vice versa.

"We want to make the experience of being a Monarch as memorable as possible. We want them to 'Be the Roar' for the rest of their lives."

This article was posted on: August 28, 2009

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.