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Paint the Paws project continues as BU prepares for homecoming

All four spirit squads combine efforts to promote school pride

October 8, 2010

Paint the Paws project continues as BU prepares for homecoming

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VESTAL, N.Y.—Binghamton University, in conjunction with homecoming, encouraged school spirit this week with the “Paint the Paws” project. The athletic department uses the event to kickoff homecoming weekend while raising awareness of the upcoming festivities on campus.

“Paint the Paws” began as a project which all University groups could participate, but over time evolved into a spirit squad activity. Associate Athletic Director, Dave Simek, organizes and participates in the function providing, paint, brushes, the paw print stencil and even a leaf blower for rapid drying.

The spirit squads joining efforts for the occasion include the Cheer, Dance and Kickline teams as well as the Pep Band. The four units come together and paint Bearcat paws on all paths that lead to the Bearcats Sports Complex and Events Center. Fans of the Bearcats will undoubtedly notice the paw prints as they enter games at the Bearcats Sports Complex all year long.

Alessandra Rannazzisi, a senior member of the Dance team explains what the spirit squads set out to accomplish. “Today we’re getting ready for homecoming weekend, we do something called ‘Paint the Paws’ where the spirit squads paint green Bearcat paws on all the pathways to the Bearcats Sports Complex and Events Center,” she commented.

Rannazzisi thought the squads felt more excitement this year, “It’s really nice to have everyone here because last year there were only a few of us,” she continued. “This year we definitely feel more excitement and unity for homecoming now that we’re all together - this year should be great and we’re starting off on the right foot…or the right paw.”

Jennifer Lobodzic, junior President of the Kickline team, believes “Paint the Paws” will help bring students, faculty and community members to BU this weekend. “We paint Bearcat paws every year a couple days before homecoming to attract a variety of fans to the games over the weekend,” Lobodzic said. As for why they paint the paws on the pathways to the Bearcats Sports Complex, “The Bearcat paws lead to the Bearcats Sports Complex because that’s where Baxter goes to cheer on the soccer team and fire up the crowd,” she added.

The athletic department believes “Paint the Paws” endorses unity among the University, alumni and community. President of the Pep Band and senior trumpet player, George Hadjiconstantinou agrees. “We love the cohesion and camaraderie, it’s a fantastic thing,” he said. “Homecoming is great because you have the alumni coming back mixed in with support from the community, it creates an absolutely tremendous atmosphere at the soccer game.”

Some of the spirit squad members believes it’s their duty to be involved with “Paint the Paws.” Junior Cheer team member Sarah Flannery saw it as an opportunity to infuse some life into the student body. “As members of the Cheer team it is our job to paint the paws and help promote school spirit,” she stated. “We hope it brings students out, especially freshman who are new to the University.”

The “Paint the Paws” tradition that was upheld this year by about 50 members from the four spirit squads. The members celebrated after with a pizza party to enjoy their efforts.

All four spirit squads will be performing during half-time of the men’s soccer game Saturday night against Vermont.

There are a full slate of games and festivities set for homecoming weekend including tailgating, fireworks and a tent sale with Binghamton University gear available. For the complete homecoming schedule please visit

Homecoming Game Schedule

Friday, Oct. 8 - Volleyball vs. New Hampshire, 7 p.m., West Gym (Admission is free)

Saturday, Oct. 9 - Men’s Soccer vs. Vermont, 7 p.m., Bearcats Sports Complex (purchase tickets online at )

Sunday, Oct. 10 - Women’s Soccer vs. Albany, 7 p.m., Bearcats Sports Complex (tickets available at Events Center box office)

Sunday, Oct. 10 - Volleyball vs. Providence, 7 p.m., West Gym (Admission is free)

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