It’s Homecoming Week at Drexel University, and there’s something in the air. Dragon dominance? School spirit? Whatever you call it, the week will culminate at the Drexel men’s basketball game vs. James Madison University at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Daskalakis Athletic Center (DAC).
Want to showcase that spirit all season long? Joseph Campbell, a fourth-year accounting and finance major and the president of the DAC Pack, Drexel Athletics’ student fan section, has some ideas about why students should follow the team this season and beyond. His motto? “Everybody at the University is part of the DAC Pack, they just don’t know it yet.”
Here are Campbell’s top 10 reasons to watch Drexel basketball this season:
1. Exhibiting school spirit is a great part of the collegiate experience. Campbell said most college students have a bucket list of things they want to experience before they graduate — and for Dragons, a basketball game (or two, or three, or 50) should be one of them.
“It’s a platform to showcase what it means to be a Dragon,” he said. “Showing school spirit through coming out to events and wearing something to show that you’re proud to be a Dragon is essential to the collegiate experience.
He would encourage all students to at least make it out to the big games during their time at Drexel, like this weekend’s Homecoming game.
2. It’s a great study break. Campbell says from experience (having taken 20 credits and worked 30 hours a week the past three terms) that cheering on your team from the front row can be a great way to relieve stress.
“Constantly having tests and projects is stressful, and creates pent-up energy,” he said. “This can be cathartic.
Even if students just want to sit in the student section, calmly watch the game and hit the reset button, it’s still a way to return to studying feeling refreshed.
3. We are the only Dragons in D1 sports. The Drexel Dragons are the only Dragon mascot that falls under the Division 1 category, Campbell said. This sets the University’s teams apart just like Drexel as a whole sets itself apart because of its co-op program, etc.
“We’re unique,” he said.
4. Free giveaways: Swag, food, etc. The DAC Pack usually does giveaways throughout the entire basketball season, Campbell said, including giving out signature gold shirts at the first game of the year. This year, they will also introduce a beanie giveaway.
“It promotes school spirit, with students seeing others on campus with the same shirt on as them,” he said. “It creates a culture within athletics, but also off the court as well, with everyone being a part of the bigger picture.
Additionally, the 40 students who are willing to take the 12-hour bus ride down to the conference tournament in Charleston, South Carolina, receive a free replica jersey as well as their room, tickets and transportation covered by the student group.
5. Help build a sense of tradition and pride on campus. Campbell said the DAC Pack is working toward once again being recognized as one of the top student sections in the nation, but they need the larger student body’s help to do so.
“There has been a culture shift, but we’re working on going back to that sense of tradition and pride,” he said.
6. It’s a chance to blow off steam, get loud, be social and be a part of the best homecourt advantage in the conference. Despite this recent shift, Campbell said the commissioner of the Colonial Athletic Association himself said that the Drexel Dragons have one of the most daunting student fan presences.
“He may have said it as a joke, but he definitely said it,” Campbell said. “Whether it’s three or 300 of us, we always make it a hard time to come play at the DAC.”
Campbell would encourage all students to come see what he’s talking about, since it’s also a great way to meet one another and feel like you’re a part of something.
7. The teams are students, too, and play hard to represent the University. Student-athletes also want to feel like the rest of the student body is behind them, Campbell said, even though many might not think this affects their game.
“People don’t realize that these students are putting their heart and everything out on the line every time they step on the court,” he said.
Campbell added that Zach Spiker, head coach of the men’s basketball team, has done a great job instilling that the student section is part of the team, part of the family.
8. Tickets are free for students with a DragonCard. Students don’t really have an excuse for not becoming part of this family, as tickets to all home games are free for Drexel students! All you need is a valid DragonCard.
“Around the collegiate world, there are teams charging their students to get in,” he said. “This is an excellent opportunity that Drexel provides students.”
9. Every Dragon should experience a game against our rival, Delaware. Campbell has been following Drexel basketball since he was very young, and the rivalry with the University of Delaware has been around as long as he can remember. And it’s even more intense now after last year’s game resulted in the Dragons clenching the largest comeback in men’s Division 1 history against Delaware.
“The rivalry has been renewed in the grandest fashion, and it’s a fun rivalry to be a part of,” Campbell said.
10. You will never know who you will see at the DAC. Another spark of excitement struck this season when Philadelphia 76ers player Ben Simmons and reality TV star Kendall Jenner were spotted at the game against Robert Morris in December.
Campbell wasn’t able to make it to the game himself, but was told that it was an “electric environment” due to the stars’ presence.
“It was definitely a really exciting moments for students,” he said. “As soon as they heard that Kendall Jenner was at the game, students raced to the door and had to be shut out for a time."
But Campbell said sightings like this happen all the time — just one more reason to make sure you show up for every game!
If you’re interested in joining the DAC Pack and attending weekly meetings, find representatives at home games or reach out via email at email@example.com.