Welcome Week: Break Out the Green and Gold—It’s Friday!

Posted: August 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm

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By Buzz McClain

Friday, the first Friday of the new school year, was National College Colors Day, during which students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear school colors. But on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, it was also Peter Kleine Day, the one day of the year the fearless junior history major hands out “Spirit Violation” warnings to those not in compliance.

The Patriot Pride Patrol hands out spirit violations to Mason students on College Colors Day. Photo by Evan Cantwell.

The Patriot Pride Patrol hands out spirit violations to Mason students on College Colors Day. Photo by Evan Cantwell.

“What do mean you’re not wearing green and gold on my day?” he chided pedestrians from behind the wheel of his George Mason-colors bedecked golf cart. “You are in Spirit Violation!”

“But I am spirited!” the offender protested, to no avail. Kleine, leader of the Patriot Pride Patrol, presented her with a Spirit Violation ticket, which cited “Article 1.G11 of the George Mason University School Spirit Statute” and requested the offender’s presence at the campus bookstore.

The summons was really a coupon worth 20 percent off Mason apparel at the bookstore where students new to Mason and those without spirit wear can use to prevent being in violation on future Fridays. Each Friday at Mason, students—as well as faculty and staff—are encouraged to shuck their usual garb and dress in green and gold.

As the golf cart continued to wind along the campus sidewalks, Patriot Pride Patrol members history major Taylor Sprague and Storm Paglia, general manager of WGMU radio, joined Kleine in his quest to “bust” noncompliant Patriots. “Non-Patriotic Patriots,” Sprague called them, just before leveling a loud “You should be wearing green and gold!” to a gaggle of earth-toned offenders.

The "summonses" are really 20-percent off coupons for the Mason bookstore. Photo by Evan Cantwell.

The “summonses” are really coupons for the Mason Bookstore. Photo by Evan Cantwell.

“I have it. I’ll change after class,” one protested, but it wasn’t good enough. Paglia jumped from this seat in the cart and served the startled student with a coupon. “And don’t forget to wear it on Fridays!” Kleine reminded her.

“I just woke up,” a denizen of Presidents Park tried to explain at the unlikely hour of 12:15 p.m.

Busted! Coupon served. About 500 of coupons would be issued before the day was done.

Early indications are that Mason’s school spirit is starting off strong, Friday’s violators notwithstanding: Mason placed ninth in a National College Colors Day competition on Instagram, the only non-football school in the Top 10.

Over at the bookstore, manager Barb Headley confirmed that the “violation” coupons are getting put to good use. “We get a lot of them,” she said. “The students get kind of shamed into it.”

Ah, but that shame soon becomes Patriot Pride.

Write to Buzz McClain at bmcclai2@gmu.edu

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