ASG, Wildside join NUMB to promote Purple Fridays

Tyler Pager, Reporter

For members of Northwestern University Marching Band, Fridays have always meant one thing: Wear purple.

Now, however, NUMB wants “Purple Fridays,” one of its long-standing practices, to become ingrained in the rest of the campus community. The band has joined forces with Associated Student Government and Wildside with the hopes of enshrining “Purple Fridays” as a campus-wide tradition.

Originally the groups were working separately, but Frank Kaufhold, NUMB’s “official band geek,” reached out to ASG and Wildside to combine their efforts. The groups met for the first time about two weeks ago.

“To think that all three organizations were pretty much doing the same thing but weren’t working together, I thought we could try to work together to make this Purple Fridays thing catch on,” the McCormick senior said.

ASG executive vice president Alex Van Atta, a McCormick senior, said the groups’ main goal is to increase publicity about the tradition around campus. He said they have also reached out to Evanston businesses with the idea of providing special deals on Fridays for customers wearing purple.

“We want to have a large presence in the community so people feel that they are proud of Northwestern,” Van Atta said.

Wildside president Gram Bowsher said the promotional strategies will have a heavy online presence.

“We developed a social media strategy to use the social media outlets of all three organizations to help spread it to all of our constituents instead of just one organization doing it,” the SESP junior said.

Bowsher said the Purple Fridays concept aligns with Wildside’s goal to change the campus culture surrounding athletics. He said free T-shirts and pizza may attract students to one athletic event, but the group aims to create an environment where students are proud to support all of NU’s teams.

“We want to have this united aspect of people wanting to show their support for their school, show their purple pride and be proud of being a Northwestern student and everything that being a Northwestern student has to offer,” he said. “We just feel that if people are aware of the idea of what purple represents on campus, of it being something that all Northwestern students have in common, then that kind of idea can permeate throughout campus.”

Kaufhold said Purple Fridays promote more than showing pride for athletics and should be used to highlight all student activities on campus, such as theater productions.

“There’s always something special going on at Northwestern,” he said. “So whether you’re showing pride for the football team … or your student group, you know a show is going on — Dolphin Show, Waa-Mu — it’s all part of Northwestern.”

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