Whether you’re a first year student, a transfer student or going into graduate studies, it’s never too early or too late to join Brock’s school spirit revolution.
You may be wondering what Isaac’s Army is. According to the official Isaac’s Army page on the BUSU (Brock University Students’ Union) website, it all began in the fall semester of 2007: the Men’s Basketball team was off to a great start in the season, but there was one clear issue – “the bleachers were empty.” There were hardly any supporters to cheer on the basketball team, let alone any team, and so two students decided to embark on changing the fan culture at Brock and that’s how Isaac’s Army began.
Since its creation, BUSU has employed an Isaac’s Army Coordinator for everything Brock spirit related, such as clubs, athletics and events such as Isaac Brock’s birthday celebrations. This year, Adham Shama, a student graduating from the Sport Management program, fills the position and has big plans to draw students into Isaac’s Army.
“The whole purpose of it is to make it difficult for any team from other schools to come and play on our territory because we are strong and crazy. We also want to challenge ourselves as Isaac’s Army by going over to other schools and showing them why we’re the best and the most spirited school,” said Adham Shama. “[Isaac’s Army exists to] provide students with experiences. I understand some people come in with the mindset of getting their degree and getting out but I feel like coming into Brock, you can be a part of something truly bigger than coming to class and going home.”
Adham emphasized that this year, as the Isaac’s Army Coordinator, he really wants “to enhance the student experience by getting people involved.”
So how does one become part of Isaac’s Army and why should they?
It’s important to understand that Isaac’s Army is not some exclusive club, but rather open to all Brock University students.
The idea is to unite everybody together to support, cheer and highlight school spirit by attending events such as sports games all together as one. “There’s so many opportunities from being involved with Isaac’s Army. You’re going to events, meeting people, reducing stress, and you’re just having a good time on your own schedule. There’s no time commitment with being in Isaac’s Army,” said Adham, encouraging students to be involved on their own time.
In the past couple of years, it’s been evident throughout Badger sports, such as the most recent and successful Men’s Basketball season, and school rallies, like the one held for Isaac Brock’s statue party, that Isaac’s Army has been growing. Students have been getting more involved both on and off campus. This year, Shama hopes to continue on that path and keep building Isaac’s Army to be bigger, better and stronger.
Shama has big ideas for the year up ahead. He says that this includes “introducing ‘generals’ which will be volunteer positions for outgoing, upbeat students, mostly from residence, that will act as ambassadors for Isaac’s Army and can be the ones to gather crowds and lead cheers when there are events happening on, and sometimes even off-campus.” This is a great opportunity for students looking to get involved and if this is something that interests you, Adham will announce the search for ‘generals’ in early September.
In addition, Adham plans to improve the way that students find out about Isaac’s Army events.
“Isaac’s Army is growing massive and it’s hard to sometimes reach students over social media when there are so many different channels,” says Shama, adding that “I did some research and I found out that social media does a decent job of reaching out but I would love to be able to send out text messages straight to students’ phones. It’s direct and harder to ignore since a lot of people are able to mute or disable notifications on [Facebook] groups.”
While this has not yet been confirmed, it seems that students may soon have an easier way to be notified about every journey that Isaac’s Army sets out on.
It seems that Isaac’s Army 2016-17 school year has lots in store. With ‘generals’ in residence and possible text message alerts, Adham says that he’s also looking into providing trips to Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC games, creating a better atmosphere at all home games, and working with the athletic department to plan unique events and rallies, in the hopes of providing the best possible student experience.
“There’s a lot to look forward to, so come along with us and be a part of something great.”