We Are... Minnesota Spirit Initiative

Spirit Section

Our Mission

The mission of We Are...Minnesota is to lead the University of Minnesota community in fan participation, Gopher spirit, and positive behavior. We Are...Minnesota will: initiate traditions, reward positive fan behavior, create a welcoming and exciting environment for all who attend Gopher Athletic events, and create a more unified atmosphere for University of Minnesota student fans.

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In July 2008, students and staff from the University of Minnesota attended the first Big Ten Sportsmanship and Spirit Conference at Ohio State University. Upon returning, several students took the initiative of creating a student-run Sportsmanship Council. Throughout the fall semester, students and staff conducted site visits at the University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, Arizona State University, and the University of South Florida to gain additional information about how sportsmanship initiatives were run on their campuses. The knowledge obtained from the Big Ten Sportsmanship and Spirit Conference led to the formation of We Are…Minnesota Spirit Initiative in January 2009. Interns are hired annually to oversee the Spirit Initiative and to act as liaisons between University staff, students, and members of spirit sections at Gopher sporting events.

Currently, spirit sections have been formed for Gopher football, men’s hockey, and men’s basketball, with hopes of expansion into all University of Minnesota sports within the next few years. Joel Maturi, former University of Minnesota Athletic Director, coined the phrase “We Are…Minnesota” throughout his tenure on campus and the new spirit group was named in his honor. The Gopher Greeter Program was launched with the opening of TCF Bank Stadium, designed to welcome fans to campus and provide them with game day information. Gopher Greeters are known for their “aggressively friendly” Gopher spirit. Following the inaugural football season, the program was expanded to Gopher hockey and basketball games.

Golden Gophers Make Golden Choices: Fan Code of Conduct

The University of Minnesota is committed to creating a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable environment for all fans at Gopher Sports events. As Golden Gophers, we make “golden” choices in regard to conduct and sportsmanship. It is expected that all fans can enjoy the game day experience free of inappropriate behavior, including but not limited to: fighting; thrown objects; attempts to enter the playing field; political or incendiary messages, and; foul, sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, obscene or abusive language or gestures. As a ticket holder, you are responsible for your conduct as well as the conduct of your guests and/or persons to whom you have given your tickets.

Golden Gopher Fan Creed

Be Loud: Cheer loudly for the Gophers and not against our opponent from beginning to end
Be Proud: Wear maroon and gold to every sporting event
Be Golden: Show that we are the best fans in the nation by behaving responsibly, being respectful of others, and encouraging others to do the same.
Go Gophers!

For more information e-mail We Are... Minnesota at sportsmanship@umn.edu