RAWR co-founder Bianca Reo '12 paints a fellow fan before the Bucknell game Sept. 24. (Gavin Schlissel '13)
They are a band of cheerleaders â but they arenât the band, and they arenât the cheerleaders. They call themselves RAWR, and they are an unofficial student group dedicated to spreading school spirit â especially at sporting events.
The group formed last year when Bianca Reo â12 and Adeline Brown â13 started an informal email list advertising body paint and ârabble rousingâ on football game days. The club was a hit, attracting a core group of about 20 students who meet at Frist Campus Center to paint each other and plan chants for the game.
Under Reoâs leadership, RAWR has grown from eight members to as many as 50. âOur numbers go up and down depending on how the team is doing,â explained Reo. At this yearâs home opener â a loss to Lehigh â the RAWR section had dozens of denizens, painted and screaming, waving homemade Princeton flags and playing chords on vuvuzelas.
But Reoâs commitment to Princeton football goes far beyond that of a typical fair-weather fan. She treats her support of the team like a responsibility. Late in the fourth quarter at last weekâs Bucknell game, after the game was all but lost for Princeton, Reo shouted encouragement at the cheering section: âTheyâre still working hard on the field, so weâve got to keep working hard up here!â
Reo and the most committed RAWR-ers paint themselves from toe to head: legs striped with orange and black and sleeves of orange crossed with tiger-stripes. On their chests are massive letters punctuated by numbers of players â Reo wears the number 17 for her boyfriend, a starting defensive back for the Tigers.
âWe donât go through as much paint as you would think,â said Reo. âIt spreads pretty well.â
Gavin Schlissel â13 is a molecular biology major from Moraga, Calif.