A student-less section

WSU football fan Isaac Staszkow (right of middle) cheering on the Weber State football team along with the rest of the student section.

The student section is a catalyst for many college sporting events. But at Weber State University, the student section, also known as the Destruction, isn’t as large or loud in comparison to other schools. Out of the thousands of students that go to Weber State, only a couple hundred attend the games.

Weber State students can attend sporting events for free or at a reduced rate. With that, students have an opportunity to show up and support if they choose.

Weber State student Tinlee Gleason said the student section could be more prominent. When compared to other schools in Utah, Weber State is pretty OK. People are talking more than cheering during games.

“I feel like a lot of people nowadays are scared to even be part of, like, the moment,” Gleason said. “They’re scared to get out there and have fun once in a while.”

Throughout campus and on Weber State’s social media pages, marketing posters have the schedules listed for games.

Between the pandemic’s limitation of large gatherings and the football program’s lackluster season, the amount of students in Weber’s student section slowly decreased after each game in the 2021 season. It seemed as though people had lost their school spirit.

The football team is in the works of winning back their fans, currently sitting at a 3–0 record for the first time in 24 years.

“Some people don’t know about the games or even really care,” Ian Wilson, WSU student, said. “With the team we have this year, they should care.”

Student sections around the country have some form of leadership when doing chants, themes and more. At Weber State, there isn’t a leadership program for specific things like a student section.

Through WSUSA, there are multiple positions that may involve athletics, but nothing specific for the student section.

Weber State Athletics has an internship program called the Athletics Internship Program. Internships offered through this program include client services, community engagement, digital media, event management, fan experience, game promotions, graphic design, marketing, media relations, team Waldo and research and analytics.

The goal of having a leadership role would be to raise school spirit and make the game fun for everyone in attendance.

WSU student Terri Hughes said there shouldn’t be a leader in the student section. It should be more spontaneous.

Weber State’s cheerleaders are not only national champions, but are a squad that takes every chance they get to put on a show. The cheerleading squad usually starts the chants at football games and tries to get the crowd involved.

One thing they have at the sports games is a variety of music. Above the student section, a band plays music throughout the game to keep them involved.

During timeouts and halftime, the athletics department has different engagement activities encouraging the fans to interact, like competitions and prizes that people in the crowd can win.

The games are an interactive experience for everyone who attends. Most people who attend the games aren’t students, but part of the Ogden community and the players’ families.

At Weber State, there are different age and marital status demographics, with the younger students going to more games than the older students.

Wilson said that what makes him excited to go to games is hanging out with kids his age and being able to watch football and have a good time.

Besides football, other sports that tend to bring in larger crowds are volleyball and hockey for the fall semester and basketball for the spring semester.

Unlike other sports, the hockey team is a club and not an NCAA team. If they want something to happen, they have to do it themselves. Some may credit their large crowds to their success, and others may credit it to the atmosphere of the fast-paced game.

Whether you’re a football, volleyball, hockey or soccer fan, the Destruction for the fall semester relies on Weber State students.

The next few home games for Weber State include women’s soccer vs. the University of Idaho and women’s volleyball vs. Portland State University on Sept. 22.