They may be the most popular clothing item on campus these days.
They are known as “BEAT” shirts, and the latest arrival of them prompted a line snaking across the Brickyard today of students eager to add the shirt to their collections.
There is a catch, though. They are only available to members of the Student Alumni Association (SAA), an offshoot of the Alumni Association’s Student Ambassador Program.
“It seems like they love them,” says Josh Stanley, a senior from Greensboro, N.C., who is director of the SAA and a student ambassador. “We’ve had a huge spike in the number of members because of the t-shirts.”
The shirts are given out the week of each football home game, and feature a menacing Mr. Wuf encouraging the Pack to “Beat” that week’s opponent.
They are already becoming something of a collectible, with students lining up early each week to make sure they get a shirt from every home game. Some students wore their “Beat” shirts from past games when they showed up today to get the shirt for this weekend’s game against Florida State.
Julianna Rogers, a sophomore from Raleigh, was first in line today for the shirts. She arrived an hour early to make sure she got one, which she plans to wear to the game on Saturday.
“It’s just a good way to show spirit,” she says. “We’re more of a community when we’re all wearing the same shirt.”
Jim Gresham, who oversees student programs for the Alumni Association, says hundreds of shirts have been given away each week. Students who aren’t members of the SAA are given the chance to join on the spot – and then take advantage of the other benefits of being in the SAA, including discounts at some Hillsborough Street restaurants.
Gresham says SAA members also get the chance to network with other students and alumni at small dinners hosted at The State Club at the Park Alumni Center.
But today, it was all about the shirts.
“It’s a uniform for our members,” Gresham says. “They stand out in the crowd.”