Tigers for Tigers

This year, the National Tigers for Tigers Coalition is making their Trinity campus debut, and you are going to hear them roar louder than a lion (or at least decidedly better than Katy Perry). Co-founded by seniors Gabby Sandigo and Alese Descoteaux, the Tigers for Tigers Coalition is dedicated to saving all tigers facing impending extinction around the globe.

“I didn’t know much about tigers in the wild until I studied abroad in Costa Rica and met someone who had a club at Clemson University, and he asked me to start a club at Trinity,” Sandigo said. “The coalition is made up of 11 other schools like Trinity that have a tiger as their mascot. It’s a “˜power in numbers’ kind of thing with all these clubs coming together.”

The six current members of the Tigers for Tigers Coalition were hard at work this summer, getting in touch with the local news and upping their social media presence.

“We put the six of us on different tasks for the summer, so some people were in charge of social media, while others were in charge of contacting zoos,” Descoteaux said. “We delegated different tasks so we could divide and conquer and get ready for the freshmen this year.”

For her part, Sandigo traveled to Washington, D.C., with other members of the Coalition from different universities. The group talked with senators and their aides about the Tigers for Tigers situation, persuading them to advocate for the Save the Vanishing Species Stamp and to pass the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, which eventually did pass.

“The bill is a bipartisan issue, so there’s really no reason to not be on board,” Descoteaux said. “Obama issued an executive order against poaching endangered species in the wild, which is something that Tigers for Tigers advocates for, and it’s cool to see that change actually come to fruition.”

Now, the Tigers for Tigers Coalition has big plans for the 2013-2014 school year.

“We want to Tigerfy the campus and get everyone involved,” Sandigo said. “We will hopefully have a 5K run in the spring, and we’re planning a trip to India in January to see tigers in the wild.”

At the Student Involvement Fair, the Tigers for Tigers booth attracted a wide variety of interested students, including junior Thomas Witecki.

“The Tigers for Tigers Coalition sounded really interesting to me because raising awareness about saving the world’s remaining tiger population is important,” Witecki said in an email. “Not many people know that this is an issue. I also really like going to the zoo, and the coalition representatives said that we get to go a few times.”

Tigers for Tigers needs all types of students, including budding lawyers to work on the legal side and artists to create a trademark and shirt design.  If you are interested in the National Tigers for Tigers Coalition, please feel free to contact Sandigo at [email protected] or Descoteaux at [email protected] for more information.