Hockey program brings Rensselaer together

There are few areas of campus life that the RPI community can come together for, certainly academics (or at least I’d hope), but there is something else. It boosts school spirit, builds a community, and helps define the image of our school: ice hockey.

Our hockey program is only a slice of what there is to do on campus, but it is a singular event when there is a game. Not only do hockey games attract spectators, but they include student organizations such as RPI TV, WRPI, RPI Ambulance, teams that fundraise like lacrosse and tennis, as well as the spirit of the game, the RPI Pep Band.

Hockey brings the community together, and it’s not just students. Rensselaer faculty and staff go to hockey games, not because they have to, but because they want to. As we are a communiversity, our hockey games attract those outside of our campus. Take a look at who comes to our games; there are families, alumni, and friends. You might notice the local press, but also the occasional congressman or legislator. Our hockey is a big deal for them too.

In case you haven’t guessed, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool hockey fan. Unless I’m out of the zipcode, I make it to every game. I’m also part of a devoted group of students that tries to go to as many away games as possible (that tournament in Alaska is an obvious exception). We try to bring a home feeling to our team, and more often than not, RPI fans outnumber the opponents.

I am a hockey fan not only because of the game and of my pride for my alma mater, but also for our players. They are dedicated individuals that practice and train everyday, but they do so much more. They volunteer for community service and participate in student events. They go far above their obligations as athletes and become Rensselaer leaders.

Regardless of a win or loss, be there for your RPI Engineers and your school that is always there for you. As the regular season games are winding down and we prepare for the playoffs, keep up the support, whether they’re on or off the ice. I don’t know where RPI hockey will go from here, but I believe that they’ll do their best.

This Friday, Women’s ice hockey will play at Quinnipiac College for ECAC quarterfinals. Men’s hockey will travel to Colgate and Cornell Universities to finish their regular season before they return to home ice for playoffs, dates which are to be determined. Visit the Athletics website at http://rpiathletics.com/.

Share similar stories of hockey fever or any topic by visiting me at the GM/PU office in the Student Government Suite on the third floor of the Rensselaer Union, by e-mail at gm@rpi.edu, or via comments at http://twitter.com/rpigm/.