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CUW students cheer during the women's basketball championship game at CIT on January 27, 2024 between CUW and CUNE. Photo by Abby McGue.

Four rowdy student sections filled with rivalry and competition united this weekend over one chant: “Keep CIT.”

Narration by Author

CUNE men’s and women’s basketball teams smile for a photo with each of their trophies from 2024 CIT. Photo by Abby McGue.

Concordia University Nebraska (CUNE) earned the championship title for both their men’s and women’s basketball teams this weekend at the Concordia Invitational Tournament (CIT). Leading up to this championship was a busy weekend, full of campus events, pep band songs, dance and cheer performances, and passionate student sections from all four universities present. 

This December, Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor announced that CUWAA will discontinue participation in CIT after 2025. Since this decision leads to the removal of half of the teams from participation, the possibility of CIT happening in any capacity without CUWAA is in question.

For most current undergraduate Concordia students, this past weekend’s CIT at Concordia University Wisconsin was only their second chance to attend, including last year’s tournament held at Concordia University Nebraska. No CIT was held in 2021 or 2022 due to COVID-19. Many students, like senior Katie Slominsky, experienced their first CIT just a few days ago. 

“It’s just really cool to get to see other students on campus and to know that we still have something in common.” Slominsky states, “It’s a really fun way for the different schools to show their school spirit.”

Other students, like junior Leah Flolo had a different experience at the event, but share a similar notion. Flolo was the lead event planner for the Campus Activities Board for the student events happening during the week of CIT. 

“I think CIT, at least for me, it’s been a really cool opportunity to not only see other campuses but to see other students from other universities within the Concordia realm,” Flolo shares.

"Nebraska is Fictional" Sign from CUAA Student Section
CUAA Students hold up “Nebraska is fictional” sign during the men’s basketball competition between CUAA and CUNE on January 26, 2024. Photo by Abby McGue.

Because of the nature of the environment, students were naturally given a space to voice their opinions. The tournament was riddled with classic “you can’t do that” or “airball” chants. Many student fans and pep band members across the Concordias also got creative with signage and chants. CUAA students started the weekend off with signs making fun of the state of Nebraska, “Nebraska is fictional” and “win or lose, at least we don’t live in Nebraska.” CUNE used their mascot to aid their cheering with a “beware of dog” warning sign in their student section. CUC’s pep band held up “mistake on the lake” during their competitions against CUW. While students from all over came up with clever ways to make themselves superior to their opponents, all students united over one chant. “Keep CIT” was chanted by all four Concordias during the weekend. The loudest chant, which lasted nearly a minute, was after the men’s championship game on Saturday, and students from all universities joined in to share the sentiment. 

“I thought it was honestly a cool way for us to kind of unite with the other Concordias because I think we are all of the same opinion that we should keep CIT.” Slominsky shares, “I think also with President Ankerberg and [Dr.] Steve Taylor in the crowd, they heard us. It was a unique opportunity for us to literally use our voices.”

Flolo believes that students should not stop with a simple chant: “I think if people want to keep CIT, then talk to faculty, talk to people, just make your voice heard. I think that’s really important in this situation.”

At the conclusion of 2024 CIT, students have been very vocal about their opinions on the event. It appears that most students, from all Concordias, wish to continue this annual competition and “Keep CIT.”

Want in?

To voice your opinions on CIT, consider contacting a Student Government representative. Learn more about the event’s history on the athletics website.

—Abigail (Abby) McGue is a Multimedia Creator and Writer with The Beacon. She is a Senior Mass Communication major graduating in May of 2024 with minors in sports media and graphic design.