Formerly known as Los Locos, the Fog Squad is dedicated to getting students involved in supporting USF sport teams at games. While it may not seem like much of a challenge, many students report low school spirit on campus compared to other college campuses.
“I don’t see any school spirit at USF — I didn’t even realize we had a Los Locos thing until my friend was going to do it,” sophomore Ju-Hoon Lee said. “[School spirit is low] because it’s such a small school and we don’t need spirit because people have their own cliques.”
But what about those who don’t fall within a clique; how do those students feel part of a unified community? These are questions the Fog Squad seek to address. Since unification is at the core of the Fog Squad’s mission, cultivating school spirit means being welcoming of the entire student body — not just those who are sports fanatics. This realization is what lead to the name-change from “Los Locos” to the “Fog Squad.” The executive board made the decision based on a concern of offending the mental health community, as “los locos” can translate to “the crazy ones.”
Fog Squad president, senior William Midence said, “We believed that Los Locos was not appropriate to the mentally ill community, and we thought that Fog Squad was a name that represented us in a better light and showed support for the city that we are located in and represented us.”
Though the name change aims to be more inclusive, some members of the USF community disagree. Co-founder of Los Locos and USF alum Ryan Dulop wrote about the name change in a comment on Facebook. Dulop believes that the organization should be focused on creating school spirit, supporting our teams and less on being politically correct. “While school spirit is certainly part of it, the real purpose is to motivate and inspire our student athletes. It’s to give them a true home court advantage when they play on the hilltop,” wrote Dulop.
“Fog Squad gathers the USF community together over sports [and how] they give their best efforts to get students out to games,” Fog Squad member Imani Sherrill said.
But for students like Sherrill, the values that the Fog Squad upholds is what makes the organization’s mission important. “I try to support the sports teams as much as possible and other school endeavors such as any political or ethical statement that the school makes. I find it very important to not only back our school in sports, but in other decisions that they make that stand up for marginalized communities,” said Sherrill.
To help fund activities that encourage student involvement, executives of the university-funded, student-lead organization cut their pay to give back to the USF community in the form of pre-game meals and promotional items this year. Referring to the notion of receiving pay to create engagement among students, Fog Squad president, senior William Midence said, “executives felt that [getting paid] would make it feel like a job.”
Mobilizing that support from the student body towards the Fog Squad and sporting events, has been an uphill climb for the organization. “I wish we had more support from the student body and that more people would come out to support,” said Midence. “I would like for there to be more students at our general members meetings that take place every other Monday at 7 p.m. on UC 4.”
Featured Photo: Fog Squad poses for a spirited picture before the big game. Courtesy of William Midence.