No doubt students have heard the name or seen the T-shirts around campus bearing the title, “The Loud Scotsmen,” a newly reinstated club at Maryville College. The organization promotes school spirit at all sporting events.
Senior Sarah Bohlman first founded The Loud Scotsmen after being told to sit down in the student section of a football game. Upset by the lack of school spirit, she said that she and her friends set out to form a club that would give MC a pep section to be proud of. According to Bohlman, the club was the perfect opportunity for the student body to bond in a fun and responsible way. Unfortunately, The Loud Scotsmen died out not long after it began when Bohlman left to study abroad and was no longer able to lead the group.
The club remained inactive until this year, when Joni Burrell, a junior, started it back up.
Burrell, along with the help of Bohlman, is trying to make The Loud Scotsmen a familiar name around campus. Bohlman said Burrell is, “the best thing to ever happen to the Loud Scotsmen.”
“I can come up with ideas and get people excited, and she [Burrell] is good at keeping things organized and putting events together,” Bohlman said.
Together, they aim to encourage student involvement at college games and create a unity the student body has not had in previous years. Most importantly, Burrell and Bohlamna said that the group does not wish to discriminate and wants to form student sections for all MC sports.
The club already has big plans to promote student interest. Some students may have already taken advantage of their fan buses to football games previously this year. They also hope to designate themes for MC fans at certain games and are calling in the help of the college’s Scottie dog mascot. Ideally, as membership increases, more opportunities will open up for the club, such as achieving their current goal of purchasing new mascot costumes.
The reactivation of The Loud Scotsmen has been supported not only by SGA but also many faculty members who believe that the club is an important contribution to the campus atmosphere. Vice president and dean of students, Vandy Kemp, is one of the aforementioned supportive faculty members. She said she believes it is no secret that school spirit improves the campus environment and creates ties with the surrounding community. According to Kemp, if students are excited about their school, then the community is likely to get excited, as well.
“It is important for a club that wants to be sustainable to develop leadership within its ranks, and you do that by making sure that a club includes freshmen and sophomores,” Kemp said, addressing the club’s previous inactivity.
While Burrell, Bohlman and the MC faculty have high hopes for the club, participation thus far has been lacking. Two of the planned fan bus trips had to be cancelled due to the small number of sign ups. However, Burrell and Bohlman are excited about the prospect of increasing membership by partnering with other organizations such as SPB and the cheer and dance teams to plan larger scale events that will span the entire student body.
“I want Loud Scotsmen to be more about unity than anything else,” Bohlman said.
The Loud Scotsmen are currently calling out to the MC student body, encouraging them to make their voices heard and support the Fighting Scots. The group is planning an “OrangeOut” at the football game on Oct. 26, and they encourage fans (students or not) to come out and wear orange to show their spirit.