An explosion of happy noise erupted yesterday as part of the University’s Red & White Spirit Day, a spirit filled celebration of York University. The event, which happens twice a year, pays tribute to York’s athletes and the University’s students, faculty and staff. The winner of the University’s “this is my time” contest, which celebrated York’s new brand campaign, was also announced.
More than 500 students, faculty and staff gathered in the Student Centre for Red & White Day
The Student Centre on York’s Keele campus was packed with a capacity crowd, many dressed in York gear or sporting red and white clothing. As the loud music revved up the crowd, Mamdouh Shoukri, York’s president and vice-chancellor climbed to the stage. Sporting a big smile and a red jacket, he welcomed everyone to the celebration. “Spirit day is about building pride in our institution,” he said. “It’s about engaging our community and showing the world that we have a spirit that is second to none! And given how much red and white I am seeing, I would say that we are doing just that! I am so proud of York’s faculty, staff and students.”
York’s president welcomes the crowd
Jennifer Myers, director of sport & recreation, then invited York athletes from the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) all-star teams to the stage. The audience cheered and clapped for each athlete honoured as Myers read out their accomplishments.
“Thank you very much, this is a terrific day and it is so wonderful to be here to celebrate the great achievements of our athletes, who participated in sports in the fall semester,” said Myers. “These athletes put a tremendous amount of time and work into raising York’s pride and they have tremendous results that we want to celebrate.”
Athletes from the Lions football, the men’s and women’s soccer teams, all-star tennis players and the York women’s rugby team were invited to the stage where they were cheered by the crowd.
Following the presentation of the top athletes, the York Dance Crew performed and then the top intramural athletes were cheered.
To keep up the energy, the York cheer leading squad performed their gravity defying routines to “Deep in the Heart of the York U jungle” and “Let’s go Lions” cheers. Following the performance, the winners of the 2012 Spirit Competitions were announced. Team SCLD (who provided the banners and much of the background work for Red & White Day)won the grand prize, while Bethune College took home the coveted “Spirit Torch”. Honorable mentions went to the Student Ambassador and McLaughlin College Spirit teams.
The spirit event ended with the highly anticipated announcement of the “this is my time” contest winner. Shoukri and Martin Singer, dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies took to the stage to make the announcement.
“I am sure that you are all aware that we have initiated and completed a new brand campaign,” said Shoukri. “Which ended up with the slogan ‘this is my time’, the campaign was built around the aspirations of York students and that is why you see so many advertisements featuring real students and their visions. We had a contest where we asked students to put forward their visions for a chance to win free tuition for a year.
“Almost 3,500 students participated by submitting their vision onto the York U vision exchange. The submissions were outstanding and it was very difficult for the judges to decide on a winner,” he said. “The prize is free tuition for one year. Thank you to everyone who put their visions forward. It was a wonderful way to see the innovation and vision of our students.”
McLaughlin College ‘s Spirit team
“It gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of the contest is Jacqueline Tran, a third-year student in the Human Resource Management Program in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. Congratulations Jacqueline!”
The rally ended with a spontaneous cheer. Students were then invited to participate in York Spirit Competitions – Best in Class by submitting a photo of their class wearing red & white or York gear for a chance to win coffee service for the entire class. The day also saw a return of the team spirit competitions featuring a cheer-off between different student clubs, college spirit teams and classes.
And the winner of free tuition for a year is Jacqueline Tran
The day continued with a Food Truck event, featuring street food by some of Toronto’s top road worthy gourmets, including Smokie’s Poutinerie, Toasty Zappi and Food Dudes.
The next spirit day is set for March and will celebrate York’s birthday. Watch for the announcement in a future issue of YFile.
To view a Storify of the day’s tweets and Instagram photos, visit http://storify.com/YUPres4aDay/november-2012-red-and-white-day-celebration#publicize.
Here is a list of the York athletes who were honoured during Red & White Spirit Day:
Will Austin – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) all-star
Adrian Pena – OUA West most valuable player, Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) all-Canadian, OUA West all-star
Mark-Anthony Kaye – OUA West rookie of the year
Carmine Isacco – OUA West coach of the year
Branko Majstorovic – CIS all-Canadian, OUA West all-star
Charlie Trafford – CIS all-Canadian, OUA West all-star
Arthur Casupanan – OUA West all-star
Sotiri Varlokostas – OUA West all-star
Nour Ghoneim – CIS rookie of the year, OUA West rookie of the year, OUA West all-star
Sarah Fiorini – CIS all-Canadian, OUA West all-star
Rita Keimakh – OUA West all-star
Alessia Mattucci – OUA West all-star
Felicia Turone – OUA West all-star
Shannon Wood – OUA West all-star
Joe Costello – Russell Division coach of the year
Amber Barrett – OUA Russell Division all-star
Melissa Cunningham – OUA Russell Division all-star
Fedelia Omoghan – OUA Russell Division all-star
Ahmed Shebl – player of the OUA championship, OUA all-star
David Kishlyansky – OUA all-star
Valerie Ushanova – player of the OUA championship, OUA all-star
Adriana Fernandes – CIS all-Canadian, OUA all-star
Anna Easty – OUA all-star
Shannon Vance – OUA all-star
Staci Crozier – OUA all-star