Hurting campus pride

Hurting campus pride

Danielle Zukowski

Allendale is at that fleeting moment of red, orange and yellow drifting leaves. Those comfy sweatshirts are starting to make their way out of boxes in the back of the closet. You’re shuffling across campus in your Laker blue and many students join you in your choice of attire. But the blue becomes speckled. It’s broken by dots of green, maize and maroon.

My younger sister is 15 and is always sporting a different college sweatshirt. Many of my high school friends and I did the same thing. They were a $5 steal at the Salvation Army. How could we not? Did we know much about these schools? Not really. Did we plan on going there? Not really. But it was a possibility. We still hadn’t even applied to college.

Now that we actually are in college, many of those Miami and Albion sweatshirts have made their way back to the same Goodwill we purchased them from. They’ve been replaced by a new collection of spirit wear from our respective schools. However, not everyone has followed suit. Is wearing spirit wear from other colleges hurting the foundation of pride GVSU builds in the concept of being a Laker for a lifetime?

Not necessarily. The simple act of wearing a T-shirt from another school doesn’t say much. It is very common to see spirit wear from other schools on campus especially Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. It’s the biggest rivalry in the state. Some students here have been following collegiate sports their entire childhood. It might be a family tradition.

Maybe these students are just cold and don’t have the cash to upgrade to the new GVSU merchandise at the bookstore, so they go with an old cozy favorite. Or maybe others are just wearing these sweatshirts because they’ve had a long, deep desire to attend one of these schools but were not accepted or too afraid to apply. It definitely isn’t encouraging school pride, but on its own, it isn’t hindering the community on campus.

The real problem rests in the students that do so because they don’t want to be here.

Of course GVSU needs students that speak up when they disagree with a campus issue that could be better dealt with. It’s important to have an active student body that cares about the choices we collectively make as a school. However, there are students who simply don’t like GVSU. Although they may address these issues, and they tend to have many of them, they offer little solution. Whatever the cause, they hate it here and diminish GVSU’s potential to improve.

College is not for everyone and sometimes the issue is that students need a different environment to succeed academically, but if dropping out or transferring is not an option a dissenting student would like to consider, there is a certain level of respect that should be maintained while on campus.

GVSU students should take pride in their opportunities and make the most out of their experience. The students touring campus also have to be kept in mind when we are talking badly about our school. This is our home for our collegiate journey and for many of us, we will continue to maximize this experience post-college due to the network of opportunities that have been blossoming.

It’s important to have respect and loyalty for our school in order to not only grow scholarly as an individual but to be a positive and active contribution to the community that GVSU aims to create.