First open Zu meeting represents a jungle of hopes


Jared Zoller and Jon Root address the meeting attendees.
Photo by Allison Thompson. Photo credit: Allison Thompson.

Proclaimed “Zuologists” junior international business major Jared Zoller and senior communication studies major Jon Root led the first Zu meeting Thursday night on Cougar Walk. Students gathered in a circle to hear about the group’s upcoming plans.

Root explained guidelines for the next Zu event, “Pink Out,” that will be held at Saturday’s women’s volleyball game against Point Loma. Fans will dress in pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness month. There will also be a raffle at the game, which will provide students the opportunity to win a $100 gift card to the University Bookstore.

The Zuologists’ objective of the first meeting was to provide information to students about upcoming events and how to become involved.

“We want to be a presence, which is what Blackout lacked,” said Root. “It seemed exclusive.”

Zoller said he is concerned with APU students’ lack of school spirit compared with students at other universities.

“We just want the whole campus to have that ‘college experience,’” said Zoller.

The attendees of the meeting held high hopes for the future of the group.

“The Zu is here on campus to promote unity through sports and to support our fellow athletes through being present,” junior Christian ministries major Rachel Simeno said.

Root explained how sports can “bring people together like nothing else can” and aims to use that bond to grow the APU community.

Another topic of the meeting was the relationship between athletes and other students and how the Zu seeks to support them in a way that was lacking until now.

“I can see the Zu becoming an amazing support to incredible sports teams, giving them hope when they lost all,” freshman youth ministry major India Myerscough said.

Suggestions for improving the Zu ranged from increasing the mascot’s involvement to Zukeepers “rioting” outside classrooms and living spaces to bringing students to games to even acquiring a cougar.

“First, we’d have to tame a cougar, and then we’d have to find someone to walk that thing around,” Root said, doubting the possibility of bringing in a live animal.

While the Zu crew meets every other week to plan, there will also be monthly meetings, held in a town hall format. Students can attend these meetings to provide suggestions and learn about upcoming events.