Purple Reign recruits for leadership positions


Cassie Labay/The JTAC

The Tarleton Basketball sign hangs over the stairway to enter the basketball court in Wisdom Gym.

Tarleton Athletics and the Lance Zimmerman Department of Student Involvement, Tradition, Spirit and Family Relations have opened applications to search for student leadership for the Purple Reign student section. The application was open for all students to apply until Oct. 9.

Purple Reign is a seating section at athletic events that will be exclusive to Tarleton students who want to be close to the action and be able to cheer for their fellow Texans during the game. Located beside the Plowboys, P.A.N.K.U.S., the
Purple Poo and the Foul Play – Texan Basketball Band sections, any student can join the section when they attend a sporting event and be a part of the ever-growing game day experience.

“We are looking for strong leaders who want to be the driving force for Purple Reign,” Student Involvement Representative, Jonathan Daniel Mendoza, said. “People who are going to be engaged with students and sports. People who will work with Student Involvement and Athletics to build a strong connection.”

“A student section has to be student driven. It has to be student led or it won’t be successful. So we’re just looking for that next group of students who can take what last year’s group did and take our student section to the next level,” Assistant Athletic Director for External Relations, Casey Hogan, said. “We want people who are involved on campus, and (are) passionate about athletics, passionate about the spirit and tradition of Tarleton.”

The student section in Wisdom Gym was given the name Purple Reign in early 2020, as part of the growing development following Tarleton’s entry into the Division 1 Western Athletic Conference (WAC). As a partnership between Tarleton Athletics and Student Involvement, the purpose of Purple Reign is to enhance and improve the game day experience for Tarleton students and to increase student attendance and support at sporting events.

“We’ve always had great student involvement in athletic events. The band is great, P.A.N.K.U.S. is great, Plowboys are great, but we wanted to give an ordinary student who might not be talented enough to play in the band or might not be a Plowboy, a place to sit and belong at the games,” Hogan said. “So we decided to start Purple Reign and make it the first official student section of Tarleton.”

“Student Involvement decided to partner with athletics last spring to try and get students more involved within sports,” Mendoza said. Part of the effort to enhance and improve the student section included a student section survey that was sent out to students in summer 2020.

“We used that survey to get feedback on how we can improve our student section,” Hogan said. “For students who completed the survey, (we asked) are you interested in serving on the leadership team (and) being involved in Purple Reign, how we can improve our game day atmosphere.”

With the application now closed on TexanSync, Mendoza hopes that students applied for Purple Reign leadership to help provide this game day experience for students and encourage others to attend.

“This is a great opportunity to be more involved with Tarleton athletics. Students will have a chance to see how the athletic side works. It also gives students a chance to build strong relationships with athletes,” Mendoza said. “This Tarleton experience is something that you can only get at game days.”

The application could be found on TexanSync, and was open to all students on the Stephenville campus. Students who filled out and submitted the application will be given an interview in the coming weeks. The application and the interview will be key in determining who is selected to be a part of the leadership team.

“The application asks students about what they would like to see at sporting events and how they can engage students at games,” Mendoza said.

“We also ask that students include their TexanTrail Transcript so we can see what all they are involved in,” Mendoza said.

The TexanTrail Transcript is a document that can be found on TexanSync, it details the clubs, organizations and events that students have actively participated in over the course of their time at Tarleton.

“We have multiple positions open, and they will vary depending on the people picked for the leadership team. These positions could vary from social media chair, basketball, football, and other sports chairs,” Mendoza said.

Students who are selected to be a part of the leadership team “will have to come to a one hour meeting every two weeks,” Hogan said. “You need to make an effort to be at every athletic event.”

Hogan explained that he understands that there are a lot of sporting events members will have to go to, and adds that it is not mandatory to go to all of the events.

“We’re just gonna ask that folks on the leadership team make their best faith effort to come to all of the games,” Hogan said.

“One of the things we pride ourselves in with our student section is that they’re the torch bearers for the spirit and tradition of Tarleton and our athletic events. So we’re looking for the next group of students who want to be the proud defenders of the purple and the white,” Mendoza said.

With the NCAA making plans to begin Basketball season in November, Athletics and Student Involvement hope to have Purple Reign at the ready to bring an authentic game day experience for Tarleton Students.

“I hope Purple Reign can accomplish getting students active and engaged at games. The most important thing is for students to enjoy going to the games and being invested with each sport. Students pay an athletic fee so why not go to the games and get your money’s worth, while also meeting new friends within Purple Reign,” Mendoza said.