Chelsea Steen is a second-year business management and psychology major at Case Western Reserve University. The president and founder of the 300 Club and a member of the women’s basketball team, she promotes student participation in campus events as a means to improve school spirit and unify the CWRU community. The Observer sat down with Steen to talk about her mission in the 300 Club.
Noora Somersalo: What made you start the 300 Club?
Chelsea Steen: There was a group of us in the Emerging Leaders Program and as a final project we had to do something around our theme, sports. We decided to host a basketball game and organize fun activities there to attract students to see it. So, we ended up doing a tailgate. We gave away an iPod Touch in a raffle, we organized a half-time show, booked an anthem singer etc. We had a lot of fun doing all this, and the event was a success. So, we thought that we should take what we started even further. We also felt that CWRU needed an organization like the 300 Club that would encourage students to attend campus events.
NS: Do you think there is a problem on CWRU campus with student attendance at university events?
CS: Yes. I feel that the problem is not only the fact that students do not go to campus events, but, also, there is lack of school spirit here. I rarely see students wearing Case gear or signs saying “Go Case” on campus. If anything, I hear students talk negatively about campus goings-on. I want there to be a change in this.
NS: Why do you think school spirit is so important?
CS: In high school, I played basketball and our team was not very good my freshman year; only a few people came to our games. As we continued to get better, however, more people started to show up to see us play. I noticed that it created a completely different atmosphere. Our games were not the same without the support that we got from our peers. From my personal experience, I think school spirit increases the overall happiness on campus.
NS: Have you seen any improvement in school spirit at CWRU?
CS: Yes. The improvement has been slow, but I have definitely seen the school take steps towards a change. For example, at the men’s football opener, we had about 20 people body painted, and we had a more defined student section that organized cheers – something that has not really happened before.
My hope is that we can spread the word about our organization and get students excited about our mission. By my senior year, I hope to see the mentality around here change so that the incoming students see that we actually do go to events and support our peers. I want them to think that it is the cool thing to do around here.
NS: What would you say to someone who claimed that school spirit is not important in college?
CS: I would say that it might be time for them to step away from the books for a night!