Army gains members

After nearly two months of uncertainty, the Colonial Army has finalized membership perks and sold 458 memberships in the first day of sale, the organization’s president said.

The organization sold twice as many memberships as they did during the first day of sale of last season, said Frank Dale, the group’s president.

“We’re pretty happy considering no one thought our organization would exist,” Dale said.

Colonial Army members will receive T-shirts, a drawstring backpack and discounts at Juice Zone, among other benefits, said Colonial Army president Frank Dale.

Leaders in the organization spoke to former and current students before presenting a list of potential benefits to the University. The original list included providing alcohol to members over 21 at pre-game tailgate parties, but the University rejected the idea.

“We talked to the athletic department (and University administrators) to try to make sure all these things were feasible,” Dale said. “Through communication and negotiating with them, this is the final list we came up with, and we’re excited.”

The University nixed the distributing of alcohol at preseason events because some members are not of legal drinking age, Dale said.

“The thing that’s frustrating is that the exhibition game is in a week, the regular season home opener is in three weeks, and we’re really far behind where we’ve been in past years,” he said. “The school’s helping us out a lot, especially with getting the shirts done. Once everyone got on the same page, some of the frustration was alleviated, so we’re happy.”

Dale said that although not being able to offer members early admission may take away the group’s appeal to some, the other benefits will draw some students who are not diehard fans. The organization was unsure of its future after the University decided earlier this fall that members could not receive early entry into games, a privilege they have enjoyed for the past three years. The change is part of a University effort to move toward a ticketed seating structure.

Sophomore Patrick Burgwinkle was not a member last year, but decided to join this year.

“I didn’t think it was worth it last year just to get early admission and a T-shirt,” Burgwinkle said. “I think everyone showing support for the team is more important than getting priority seating; it goes above tangible benefits. This year, though, they’re offering a lot for $10; it seems like a pretty good deal.”

Other member benefits include weekly raffles, participation during in-game contests and tailgate barbecues for every weekend home game.

Students will receive one free menu item at Juice Zone for joining and will get 20 percent off their order when wearing the Colonial Army T-shirt on a home game day. Juice Zone offered the promotion in exchange for advertisements, Dale said

The organization received $1,000 from the Student Association, much of which went to making an early payment on the backpacks, Dale said.

Dale is not sure the backpacks and shirts will be ready for opening day.

The memberships will remain on sale Friday from noon to 8 p.m. in Columbian Plaza. Students can buy memberships for $15 at the SAC office in the until Nov. 8.

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