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Idaho State promotes community pride in university

By Chris Cole
Published On: Aug 22 2013 10:45:31 PM CDT

You can see it on windows, on doors and even on a roof. Bengal pride is off-campus as well as on campus.

POCATELLO, Idaho -

You can see it on windows, on doors and even on a roof. Bengal pride is off-campus as well as on campus.

With Idaho State University starting classes next Monday, businesses around Pocatello have been busy rolling out the welcome. They call it 'Welcome Back Orange and Black.'

“It's a good way to show the students that we support them and we're glad they're back,” said Nanette Meyer, New Day Products and Resources Orange and Black Store manager.

For Co Ho (short for Coffee House) owner Philip Murphy, being a block from the university means he gets a lot of students and faculty in his coffee house.

"We get a lot of walk-by traffic, so we don't really need to try to emphasize our business,” Murphy said. “They know we're here and they know we're the best coffee shop there is."

With that foot traffic he gets, he doesn't need to do much to bring students and faculty in. His regular patrons are there, and they let friends know about the Co Ho as well.

"We have gotten regular business coming back every year,” said Murphy, “and we also get graduate students coming in. We have a very big following."

Other businesses take a direct approach by appealing directly to students' pocketbooks. The Orange and Black Store on Main Street sells Bengal gear. Meyer said they see new and old customers.

"It's nice because we're seeing people come back again that were here last year,” she said. “We're also having new students come in with their parents. It's exciting for them to be able to come in and be able to afford to get things."

And the things they buy can have them reaping benefits from all over the community. The university and the city of Pocatello promote pride in the university through 'Bengal Wednesdays.'

Every Wednesday, they encourage people to show off their Bengal pride on campus and in the community. This can be as simple as wearing an orange T-shirt on Wednesdays.

Anyone who is spotted wearing Bengal colors on Wednesday at certain times on campus receives free drinks, coupons and possibly free ISU gear.

At New Day Products and Resources, they post to Facebook, and have given away backpacks, mugs and more gears. It's not just students who get into the Bengal Wednesday spirit.

"Not only here at the store, but also at New Day Products everybody is encouraged to wear orange and black or wear something that has an ISU logo on it,” Meyer said. “A lot of the participants get really excited about it."

Meyer said that shows students they want them to have pride without breaking the bank. She also said it helps the community feel closer to the university. 

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