Story by Claremore Progress News Editor, Chelsea Weeks
Twenty Rogers State University student organizations used cans of paint, brushes and tape to display their school spirit Friday.
Paint the Town — an event where RSU student organizations partner with downtown Claremore businesses to paint windows — kicks off this year’s homecoming week. RSU hosts Pittsburgh State on Jan. 30 at the Claremore Expo Center in its annual homecoming game.
“Paint the Town is a great way to bring the campus and the community together,” RSU Alumni Director Travis Peck said. “We want to see participation grow each year and expand to any and all businesses that would like to participate. Claremore is home to RSU, and we want the town to embrace our students, orgs, and teams as their own.”
Student organizations ranging from RSU Golf to the Student Nurses Association scattered throughout downtown to paint windows and show their school spirit.
These window paintings will be judged by Claremore Mayor Bill Flanagan, wife Lou Flanagan and RSU President Dr. Larry Rice and wife Peggy Rice.
The judges will determine the winners Monday Jan. 25.
First-place winner receives $500, second place receives $300 and third place receives $100. Peck said the money goes directly to the student organizations.
Peck said the RSU Alumni Association partnered with Claremore Main Street and Spectrum Paint.
“We want to say a special thank you to Spectrum Paint for sponsoring this event and their willingness to work with us and make it possible,” he said.
Peck said they want to tie RSU in with the community as often as possible.
Claremore Main Street Executive Director Jacob Garrison said this is the second year to have this event downtown.
“We were blown away in year one with how many student organizations wanted to participate,” he said.
When Garrison started at Claremore Main Street in 2019 he approached RSU with the idea of doing something downtown.
“In my interview process and first month on the job, I had really wanted to work on strengthening that relationship with RSU and getting more students downtown,” he said.
Sixteen student organizations participated last year and 20 participated this year.
“It’s definitely growing,” Garrison said.
Garrison said some businesses who didn’t participate last year made sure to participate this year.
“We definitely have more people this year and more clubs,” he said. “Hopefully that will just keep growing.”
SAAC and District on Main won last year and were awarded the trophy during halftime of the homecoming game.
“We don’t really know how we’re going to do it this year with COVID,” he said.
Garrison said he hopes this event encourages RSU students to get engaged with the businesses downtown.