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Fan section seeks identity

March 14, 2003

Student Alumni Foundation officials are looking at about a half dozen new names for the student spirit section at home football games.

Members of the section, which was known as Bobby's World for the past three seasons, received an e-mail earlier this week asking for moniker suggestions. Group members also met multiple times late last month to generate name possibilities.

Don Setter, co-director of the football cheering section, said a decision will likely come by the middle of next week.

"We want it to be catchy and something with action," said Setter, a chemistry junior. "We've gotten some good feedback from the members - we're just trying to add ideas. Obviously the more ideas you have, the better."

In addition to finding a name, the group is also looking into expanding the section. This past season, it had more than 600 members - a jump of about 300 from the year before.

In comparison, the SAF-operated Izzone has more than 900 members for men's basketball at Breslin Center, a facility with about one-fifth the capacity of Spartan Stadium.

"We're hoping for 1,200 students," said Bev VandenBerg, SAF assistant director of student activities. "The Izzone was only 114 members initially. We think this will surpass the Izzone. The reason is, everything you do starts small."

VandenBerg added she doesn't think the goal is lofty, because section membership provides several perks not available anywhere else. Members get section shirts, designated seats, an exclusive stadium entrance and the opportunity to travel to an away game with the group.

Group member Jeremy Dow said he doesn't have an idea for the new name, but he said he believes the section is ready to get bigger.

"I think it could be bigger just to make it better," the no-preference freshman said. "If you look at the student section, many of those students could have been in Bobby's World."

VandenBerg and Dow aren't the only Spartans looking for more seating. New MSU head football coach John L. Smith is also dissatisfied with the section's current size.

"We're going to try and expand and make it better," said Smith, who met once with the group to discuss section ideas. "Depending on how many we can sell, depends on how much we can expand. It would be crazy for students to not get involved.

"We brought up the deal that we would have a jersey. No one on our team is allowed to wear No. 1, but we've talked about everyone in the section wearing No. 1

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