The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

New business ideas presented and judged at BizPitch Competition
RAs elect to establish RA union on campus
How do we handle a culture of burnout?
Women’s Track and Field dominates Colonial Relays

Women’s Track and Field dominates Colonial Relays

April 12, 2024

“Quiet on Set” reveals harsh truth about children’s TV

“Quiet on Set” reveals harsh truth about children’s TV

April 12, 2024

Making a difference locally: Students bring back The Listening Post

Making a difference locally: Students bring back The Listening Post

April 12, 2024

View All

Bucknell Athletics fan club: Bison Nation

Kelsey+Werkheiser%2C+Print+Managing+Editor+%2F+The+Bucknellian
Kelsey Werkheiser, Print Managing Editor / The Bucknellian

Bison Nation, the student-led organization encouraging campus support for Bucknell athletics, has become the largest club on campus. With over 600 participating students this year, the group acts as a fan club for all Bucknell athletes. 

Three seniors Cate Plepler ’24 Maggie Smith ’24 and Claudia Blair ’24 are this year’s co-presidents of the organization. With new leadership this year they have been seeking input and feedback from students to increase participation and engagement. They share their goals of strengthening and growing the student section that was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Our main goal is to get our student section back to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Plepler. “Bucknell is lucky to have a D1 athletics program that used to be known for its student section, especially during Basketball season. However, COVID-19 completely paused this due to restrictions and as Bison Nations leaders, we are determined to get us back to how we were before the pandemic. Essentially, our goal is to support athletics the best way possible: showing up and getting loud for the blue and orange!”

Expanding on this, Plepler continued explaining the disconnect between the students on campus and not yet having an experience with a true Bucknell student section. “None of the students on campus, including seniors, knows what the student section was like pre-pandemic. We may have seen pictures or videos but no one has experienced it,” said Plepler. “It is really hard to get students to participate in an environment that they are not familiar with, so that is what our jobs as presidents are mainly centered around – educating and encouraging students to engage and participate.”

Story continues below advertisement

New efforts are being made this year to encourage students not only to join Bison Nation but also maintain a strong attendance record. This past Monday November 6 was the home opener men’s basketball game. Puting in the effort to attract a large student audience the Bison Nation had various exciting offers for students as well as an “exciting pregame experience,” said Smith.

“We encourage fans to arrive well before tipoff so that they can get to their seats, collect their free t-shirt and glowsticks, and experience the new lights-off start to the game,” Smith shared. “We also handed out free hotdog vouchers at the game, courtesy of Bucknell dining!”

As a student, being a member of Bison Nation provides many exclusive offers. Blair expanded on this detailing their abilities and efforts to make the experience as motivating and exciting as possible. “Bison Nation is excited to offer students an enhanced, positive game experience,” said Blair. “We offer exclusive merchandise giveaways and priority tickets for members to be able to attend all playoff sporting events. At the Men’s Basketball home opener versus Delaware, we were able to give away, with the support of the Athletic Department, 500 t-shirts, glow sticks, and food vouchers.”

With a student audience of 1,056 at the Monday night home opener, the student section had its highest attendance since 2020. Men’s Basketball took on the University of Delaware. Unfortunately, the team fell short with a loss 78 – 57. Although the team did not achieve the outcome they were hoping for, the student section remained lively and positive. Bison nation was also able to enjoy the cheerleading team as well as halftime performances from the Bison Girls Dance Team and Bisonettes Dance Team. 

The Bison Girls and Bisonettes perform during every Bison Basketball home game halftime. Lydia Hybels ’24 has been a member of the team since her first year at Bucknell. “With this being my 4th year on the Bison Girls Dance Team this is the biggest crowd we’ve ever had at a basketball game! It makes all the difference having an audience to cheer us on,” Hybels shared. “I’m excited for what’s to come for the rest of the season!”

Bison Nation shows support not only for the athletes in the game and playing on the court but also for the student body at large. “Bison Nation not only supports the Athletic Department and student athletes, we are the spirit of the University,” Smith shared. “Members of Bison Nation show a deep love and appreciation for the school. Bison Nation is a club for anyone and everyone to show some pride for the orange and the blue!”

Blair explained that Bison Nation is a crucial middle man between the study body and athletic department. While the student body is looking to increase school spirit the Athletic Department is always looking for ways to increase event attendance. The two efforts work simultaneously with the help of Bison Nation.

Current students who are not yet a part of Bison Nation have not missed their opportunity to join. The instagram @bisonnationstudents shares up to date information about events and students opportunities. The link located in their instagram bio is also what students can use to sign up for Bison Nation. “We are always looking for new members to join Bison Nation as well as individuals who may be interested in helping with our Executive Board! Since the three of us will be graduating in the Spring, we are looking for students to take over the job of leading this group after we are gone,” Blair shared.

Moreover, students can also receive specific information about attending executive board meetings by sending a direct message to the Bison Nation Instagram or contacting the Athletic Department contact, Todd Newcomb. 

The current presidents of Bison Nation encourage seniors to, “catch a game before graduating. Get out, get loud, ’ray Bucknell.”

(Visited 67 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Juliana Rodrigues, Special Features Editor

Comments (0)

The editorial board of The Bucknellian reserves the right to review all comments before they are posted on the website and remove any if deemed offensive, illegal or in bad taste. Comments left on our web pages are not necessarily in-line with the views expressed by the writer.
All The Bucknellian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *