Down to Business with… Megan Dunham of the Wildside

Megan Patsavas

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Although she doesn’t wear purple foam claws as gloves or have “Go U Northwestern” set as her ringtone, Megan Dunham is a Wildcats super fan. The McCormick senior has been to almost every home football game since her freshman year and hasn’t missed a home basketball game yet this season.

Dunham channels her enthusiasm into her role as president of the Wildside Executive Board. The brand new student group, which took action this fall, aims to bring passionate Wildcat fans together and pack the student section at sporting events.

The Current sat down with Dunham to talk about Wildside, her favorite fan moments, and getting NU students pumped about sports.

The Current: How would you describe Wildside?

Dunham: I think the simplest way that I describe it to people is that we’re a student group that tries to get people to games, and we try to get them to have fun while they’re there.

The Current: What three adjectives would you use to describe Wildside?

Dunham: Passionate, fun and purple.

The Current: What’s the craziest thing that Northwestern fans have done at games to show their pride?

Dunham: The morning before the Ohio State game [we got] a bunch of people from Wildside … to start at the Arch, make our way to Allison, up Sheridan to Bobb and then across to Elder. We had vuvuzelas and were singing the fight song. That was fun. Had other people seen us, they would have been like, “They’re totally crazy.” We ran down the halls in dorms, knocking on doors [saying], “There’s a game today! Are you going to the game? Where’s your purple?”

The Current: Do you have any other favorite fan memories?

Dunham: When I was a sophomore … a bunch of my friends and I decided to dress up and spell “Go U Northwestern,” so there were like 15 of us in the first row of the football student section. The guy from ESPN came up to us and [said], “You guys want to be on TV?” And we looked at each other like, “Yeah, that’s the whole point, that’s why we wanted to do this.” So he came up to us, panned across us in the middle of the game, and my friend Susan got a phone call from her mom absolutely freaking out. She was like, “Susan, Susan, what’s going on? Your grandfather just called me and told me he saw you half naked on ESPN!”

The Current: Have you always been a sports fan, or a Northwestern fan in particular?

Dunham: I came to college, knew literally nothing about the sport of football and made all my guy friends teach me about it freshman year. I’ve been to all the home football games and all the home basketball games this year, so it’s something that has grown on me. At first it was football, and then it was basketball, but now I’m just like, “I bleed purple. What can I say?”