Flames Friday sparks school spirit

Flames Friday

Wear red, blue or UIC gear for Flames Friday. Photo: Elizabeth Monge

How can you help build a better UIC? By wearing red, blue or UIC gear every Friday this semester.

Flames Friday, when students and staff wear UIC colors or apparel, is a visual celebration of the university that builds campus spirit, said Rhonda Laylo, executive assistant in Campus Auxiliary Services. “Flames Friday shows that people are proud to be here, proud to be UIC. We want to build this awareness and help instill this pride because we feel that UIC is a really great place to work and go to school.”

The UIC community can participate in Flames-focused activities every Friday.

In the coming weeks, look for a chance to be part of a UIC Red-Out event, which will spark a friendly rivalry with another Chicago university, and expect to see UIC’s mascot Sparky D. Dragon walking around campus.

Follow or use the hashtag #FlamesFriday on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram and follow the SAB Facebook page to learn about more activities and updates or to share your experience.

Prizes, including UIC gear, will be given out to those who participate, but taking part in the tradition has a much larger impact.

“When students have more school spirit and enjoy their time on campus, it helps with their academics and their overall outlook on their college experience,” said Sunil Dommaraju, a member of SAB and a student in the College of Engineering. “We want people to interact with each other so that students feel like they’re not isolated — that they’re part of something bigger.”

Ashley Stone, an academic counselor for the African American Academic Network who received her bachelor’s degree from UIC, participates every Friday.

“UIC is a unique, dynamic, world-class institution,” she said. “One thing I learned as an undergraduate is it’s about making this campus your own.”

Stone said Flames Friday encourages students and staff to help “build [UIC’s] identity, a stronger identity, in the city and on campus.”

Tiffany Gonzales, assistant director for residence life in Campus Housing, also participates every Friday, and she hopes that more staff, faculty and students will, too.

“It’s really important to be a role model to our students and have pride in our institution, not just in academics, but for everything that encompasses the learning that happens and the relationships that are built here,” she said. “I’m really excited and proud to work here. I want to make sure that people know that I do support this institution, and this is one small way that I can help.”

For Flames Friday outfit and office decorating ideas, visit Pinterest.

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