Triton Fridays a Group Project to Boost Spirit

Dear Editor,

My name is Peter Benesch and I am the A.S. associate vice president of athletic relations. I’m writing to express my concerns with a recent article titled: “Triton Fridays: Another Misguided Publicity Stunt.” There were several inaccuracies in the article, as well as several questionable assessments that I’d like to take issue with.

The article mentions that the project is a waste of Triton Tide’s money and, by association, the A.S. Council’s activity fee, particularly with reference to the “toys” we’re giving away. Unfortunately this is completely false. No A.S. fees have been spent to acquire the iPod Touch or the Wii we will be giving away, it was completely funded by the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. Rue fronted the money because she believed there was real potential for this project to spark a new tradition at UCSD.

At the very beginning of the article, it states that Triton Fridays is Triton Tide’s newest campaign. In reality, this is incomplete at best; the event was actually planned by me in my capacity as AVP Athletics. Triton Tide has volunteered its time and effort to support the project because the members believe in what it stands for, but they are not the only ones. Members of the A.S. Council, the athletes themselves and even the college councils have stepped up and volunteered to help; without their help the event would not have been able to happen. So if you wanted to bash on Triton Fridays, you’d have to start with me, then Rue and then go on to ALL of the groups involved. To castigate one support group to the exclusion of all others seems completely inappropriate to me.

The article calls the event a “raffle” and that students will win the “toys” by coincidentally wearing blue and gold. This is just plain wrong: it’s a contest, the most spirited people will win the large prizes. We are giving away calendars (which have the dates of athletic events for a majority of the academic year) to all who participate but no one who just happens to be wearing blue and gold will have a chance in hell of winning the Wii or the iPod Touch.

The end of the article suggests that Triton Tide should give away prizes to students who come to athletic events wearing blue and gold. This comment demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the purpose of the event. The event’s primary purpose was to increase school spirit among ALL students at UCSD. As hard as it may be to believe, many students are apathetic about athletics (as the AVP Athletics, it’s especially difficult for me to understand this). Thus, Triton Fridays are an effort to reach out to all students and foster a sense of school pride regardless of their inclinations about sporting events.

— Peter Benesch
A.S. Associate Vice President of Athletic Relations