University of Oregon has the Pit Crew, Duke University has the Cameron Crazies and now Pacific University has the Red Den. The student section at collegiate sporting events is an integral part of every game.
“The Red Den was a pre-existing student organization that was developed to be the student spirit group,” Danny Kambel, Pacific sports information director said. “We are in the process of revamping it in collaboration with our existing student body.”
Kambel believes student involvement in athletics is an important part of the college experience, and said he hopes the Red Den will become a part of the Pacific student experience.
“We want all of our students to have a great experience while in college,” Kambel said. “Athletics provide good entertainment and also provides a good opportunity for other students to get to know each other.”
To help improve attendance at events this year, the Red Den and the athletic department have been making a stronger push to promote home games.
“One of the main things we’ve done is collaborate with our student athletes and use them as brand ambassadors, or marketers, of their own sport,” Kambel said. “We also worked with our coaches to provide different giveaways.”
Kambel said he hopes the Red Den will continue to become more student driven in the future.
“We want it to be student generated, student driven, student motivated,” Kambel said. “Next semester we’ll be working on developing a constitution so that it can be recognized as a student club.”
If the Red Den becomes an official club, Kambel will become its adviser. He hopes his 20 plus years of experience in athletic administration will help guide the students leading it. Kambel said student involvement at athletic events this year has grown slightly, however, believes there is still room for improvement.
“It is something we continue to work at and we are looking at initiatives and activities to grow our winter sport attendance,” Kambel said. “With the rigors of academics we know that this can be a release and outlet for the students, and we want to provide entertainment and excitement for them.”