Reck Club creates intercollegiate spirit club

During these unusual times, the Ramblin’ Reck Club found new ways to persevere Tech’s beloved traditions like the annual Mini 500 (pictured above from a previous semester). // Photo courtesy of reckclub.org

“I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech and a helluva engineer!” The crowd roars out of excitement as the Tech sports team is playing their heart out on the field.

Since the 1930s, Tech’s traditions have remained timeless, engaged students and created a sense of belonging as a Ramblin’ Wreck.

The safety concerns of these unprecedented times have raised questions on if and how school traditions can still be maintained. The Ramblin’ Reck Club seeks to answer those questions.

They are doing this with intentional planning alongside 15 of the most-spirited D1 schools across the country.

The Reck Club is dedicated to promoting campus-wide spirit through working relationships with the GT Athletic Association, the GT Alumni Association as well as the student body as a whole.

This year, because of COVID-19, the Reck Club has had to adapt to a new way of engaging the student body.

With so much uncertainty at the start of the year on how campus activities and sports would be conducted, Reck Club had to plan a strategy to continue their mission. This past summer, Reck Club found a way to establish a new network, Collegiate Spirit Organization Network (CSON).

CSON started out with a few Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) schools, including Miami, Duke, Clemson and University of North Carolina (UNC).

It has now expanded to over 15 schools and spans five NCAA Division 1 Conferences.

The creation of this network has allowed them to connect with colleges all around the nation. They meet and discuss how each college is able to keep morale and school spirit high during these times.

“They are able to modify Tech’s existing traditions to meet today’s needs,” said Adam Lederer, third-year PUBP and the Reck Club’s CSON Chair.

“Although we are physically distant, we are all still connected through our shared love of Georgia Tech.” As its founding member, Reck Club has facilitated all of CSON’s activities and meetings. There is no formal structure to CSON meetings. However, it is required that at every CSON engagement, member schools send one representative. The organization holds discussions on how to get students involved and engaged with athletic events while working safely with COVID-19 protocols in mind. The spirit network has created a space for schools to be able to collaborate and learn from each other.

Ways that Reck Club has adapted this year expand across all facets of traditions and events on campus. For example, Homecoming, a long-held tradition during football season on Tech’s campus, still went forward but was altered in some ways to remain COVID-19 safe.

The Reck Club successfully ran the Mini 500 race this year.

A larger track at the SAC Fields and spaced out start times complied with social distancing protocols that allowed everyone from campus the option to participate.

Ticketing for football and basketball games were also the product of discussions in CSON meetings.

The intercollegiate spirit network has been a remarkable addition to the Reck Club organization.

Even when sporting events return back to their pre-pandemic normal, CSON will still be able to help Tech and many schools across the country to maintain school spirit and engage with their students.