The University of Nebraska at Omaha used to be referred to as the “University of No Opportunity” from those that resided in this city and attended Creighton and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
UNO was a Division II school just a few years ago. The university was irrelevant and looked at as a joke. Those that were laughing a few years back may have their sense of humor reevaluated after Omaha was voted the Best Student Section in the country by the National Collegiate Student Section Association.
Dating back to March 14, the NCSSA began pooling in the top 16 finalists for the best student section in the country. Among those 16 student sections were Nebraska’s main university and arguably one of the best football crowds in the country, UNL. More importantly in that crowd of 16 was a school that just made its name into the Division I scene. UNO earned the right to be mentioned in the conversation that was debated across the nation.
As the voting continued, four schools emerged into the Final Four. Two of those four were from the great state of Nebraska.
Lincoln and Omaha were eventually voted into the final two schools in the country for the best student section. Needless to say, the Nebraska community was being represented on a nationwide platform that displays true dedication from its fans.
The rallying began and the race to the winner was on. Anyone was able to vote, as this was a public participation in search for the best student section in the country.
The votes were tallied last Monday and it was decided. The “Maverick Maniacs” were selected as the best student section in the country, outlasting over 1,000 other universities. UNO director of Student Involvement Bill Pickett was filled with Maverick pride once the results were in.
“I am completely overwhelmed with the support from the UNO community,” Pickett said. “We saw the opportunity to be recognized for our strong commitment to supporting athletics, and immediately began spreading the word. It was truly an all hands on deck, grassroots approach.”
Not only did Omaha win, but the final two school were both from Nebraska. Having that accolade truly displays the serious nature college students take in their athletic pride. UNO Student Body President Patrick Davlin mentioned how this award put both schools on the map.
“Having worked with my fellow student body presidents across the University of Nebraska system over the last year, it is no surprise that both schools’ support were far and above the rest of the country,” Davlin said. “This isn’t just a win for UNO, it’s a win for Nebraska.”
UNO has come along ways in the past few years in terms of its athletic program. From making its first Frozen Four, to opening the Baxter Arena, to this year’s basketball team making the Summit League Championship, Omaha is on the rise to solidify its legitimacy as a serious contender nationwide.
Winning the Best Student Section of the year was pretty sweet for Omaha, but beating a school that has seemed like the cool, older brother was the icing on the cake.