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Spirit Week Swings Into UNG

Photo by Robert DiClemente
UNG Spirit Week banners hanging outside of the Hoag Student Center on the Dahlonega campus.

The University of North Georgia’s Spirit Week is back for the spring semester with plenty of ways to celebrate across all campuses during the week of Jan. 22. 

UNG’s Spirit Week is designed to promote Nighthawk spirit and invite students, departments, faculty and staff to participate and team up in various Spirit Week competitions. Winners of each competition are awarded a certificate, prize or points for their team if they choose to participate in all the competitions. Participants who enter all the competitions are competing for the overall coveted prize: the UNG Spirit Stick. The theme for the week is “In My UNG Era,” a nod to Taylor Swift’s album eras. 

The festivities kick off on Monday, where Live Well UNG hosted, “Wear Your Words,” a spirit bracelet making activity on all UNG’s campuses. There was also another opportunity to make spirit bracelets on Tuesday. 

Monday’s decorating competition encouraged departments and faculty to decorate their classroom doors, students to design banners and residence halls on the Dahlonega campus to decorate their lobbies to fit the Spirit Week theme. 

Photo by Ben Lilley

Wednesday had plenty of Spirit Week action at the Dahlonega campus, when the Nighthawks Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams played against Georgia Southwestern State University in the Convocation Center. Students sported shirts saying, “In My UNG Era,” on the back and, “Nigel’s Version,” on the front. During the men’s basketball game, a handful of Blue Crew Spirit Competitions took place, with awards handed out to the most creative spirit sign and the loudest and most spirited team. 

Halftime of both basketball games brought on even more Spirit Week celebrations, with the Hyam’s Leadership Award winner announced during the women’s game, and the Nighthawk Nine Awards announced during the men’s basketball game. 

Mallory Rodriguez, UNG’s director of student leadership, said the division of student affairs is committed to helping students increase their engagement and sense of belonging at UNG, and extended traditions like Spirit Week will continue to bring a sense of fun, connection and pride to everyone at North Georgia. 

We also thought it was important that these activities be open and accessible to all campuses and are proud of how each campus is adopting the activities and making them unique to their campus community,” Rodriguez said, “We hope to see Spirit Week grow in the future.” 

UNG Director of Student Involvement David Michener said research suggests a link between school spirit and academic success. 

“Students with higher levels of school pride tend to have better grades, higher GPAs and are more likely to graduate on time,” Michener said, “This is likely because school spirit creates a positive and supportive environment that encourages students to invest in their academic pursuits.” 

Michener also said school spirit extends beyond wearing North Georgia blue and gold and cheering at sporting events. He explained how school spirit can play an important role in a student’s everyday life. 

“A vibrant and engaged student body creates a more dynamic and enjoyable environment for everyone. Moreover, building lifelong connections: The friends and mentors you meet through school spirit activities can become part of your network for life.” David Michener, UNG Director of Student Involvement

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Robert DiClemente, Staff Editor
Hey everyone! My name is Robert and I am a student on the Dahlonega campus. I am majoring in Communications with a focus in Multimedia Journalism. I love to write and I am excited to share that passion with you and other Vanguard staff members. Outside of the Vanguard I work for North Georgia's Athletic Department and serve as a play-by-play broadcaster on the Nighthawk Sports Network.
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