Huskie t-shirts: A new breed of school spirit

By Shadonna Merriweather

Homecoming week is here. To show school spirit students will be wearing Huskies shirts. Already students have been seen around campus with Huskies shirts on that were given out at the MLK Commons Monday.

Some NIU students look to shirts, hats, wristbands, etc. to showcase school spirit and tradition.

“We get business from both the university as well as high schools during homecoming time,” said Brenda Lehan, employee of S.O.A.S. Apparel & Design, 147 N. Second St. “Sometimes 30 to 40 orders a day, mostly in groups.”

S.O.A.S. will not be making shirts for Greek organizations this year but is busy with other homecoming attire and considers this to be one of the busiest times of the year.

The homecoming shirts for this year, last year, and from 2008 were all quite different.

“This year we had a student designer that works within CAB, who showcased more of his style on the shirt,” said CAB President Byron Neal Jr.

The homecoming shirts can be a reflection of school spirit as well as individuality.

“I remember we wore red T-shirts that represented creative style, unity and Huskie pride,” said John Walthour, former NIU student and member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

The shirts are also an opportunity for students new to any type of homecoming festivities.

“I came from a boarding school we didn’t have a typical school homecoming, but this year I’ll be wearing all the apparel,” said Keturah White, member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. For many of the sororities and fraternities, they get shirts made for homecoming as well that represent both the school and their organization.

“We get orders from everywhere…mostly from Greeks,” said Colleen Wohl, Village Commons Bookstore (VCB) employee, “We’re that one of a kind type of shop.”

VCB considers homecoming to be a busy time for them as well, although it has consistent traffic on a regular basis.

“We get so many orders daily, there’s always someone getting something customized, whether it’s NIU related or not,” Wohl said.