Athletics start “Wear the Bear” campaign, bring school spirit


Students have a wide variety of “Wear the Bear” gear to choose from to show their school pride.

Every Friday is now known as “Wear the Bear” Fridays,

which started on Friday, Oct. 30.

The Athletic Department has started something new called

“Grumpy Grizzly.”  Every Friday is “Wear the Bear” Friday

but the department will not be in the OC every Friday.

The department may also be handing out gear to people

who are wearing the bear, along with those who are wearing

other school gear such as University of Michigan or Michigan State.

Scott MacDonald, senior assistant athletic director for the athletic department’s public relations, is one of the people behind the idea of “Wear the Bear” Fridays.

“We started a brainstorming session about a year ago

because Oakland has struggled with its identity, so as a

team, we found some unique things about Oakland such as

the Grizz’s head or the phrase Golden Grizzles,” MacDonald said.

 The “Wear the Bear” campaign helps to make Oakland

become more recognizable.  It also helps to encourage

students to wear OU gear more.

“Inside of Michigan everyone knows OU as Oakland

University but outside of Michigan, everyone knows OU as

Oklahoma University,” he said.

Nicole Briggs, sophomore health and wellness major, was

the first Grumpy Grizzly and was a bit upset when she saw

the video online but later realized the campaign is really about school pride and not embarrassing students.

“In all honesty, I was really embarrassed at first and it really caught me off guard because people were jumping on tables and chairs with noise makers and cameras,” Briggs said.

After all of the commotion, Briggs received a white “Wear the Bear” t-shirt.

Many students like the idea behind the “Wear the Bear” Fridays. Sahar Rammaha, sophomore biology major, thinks this is a great idea from the Athletic Department.

“I think the Grumpy Grizzly idea is spectacular because it’s a great way to spread Oakland Pride. This in no way is bullying. Instead it’s a great way to start making new friends and having something to remember at OU,” Rammaha said.

“If you go to OU, then wear Oakland gear; I understand having U of M, State or Ohio State gear, those are considered big sport teams,” Shaqela Chapman, senior communications major and public relations minor, said.

“However, on your average class day wear Oakland or no school affiliation attire.”

But other students don’t like this idea because it comes off as offensive and can be seen as bullying.

“I think it’s great to show some school spirit, therefore people should be proud to go to OU and show that pride always. However, I don’t think people should be publicly shamed for wearing gear from other schools,” Leia Joyce, junior psychology major, said.

At all of the different sporting events will be Oakland gear giveaways.  During the games, the Oakland cheer leading and dance teams will be tossing out Oakland shirts.

For certain games such as the men’s basketball game against Valparaiso in January, there will be free t-shirts given.

The “Wear the Bear” campaign is turning Grumpy Grizzlies into Golden Grizzlies.  Be on the lookout for the Grizz and students every Friday.