School Spirit Scarcity

By Melanie Perez Editor-in-Chief The scarcity of school spirit on the Metropolitan campus is really disconcerting. When you look at schools like UCONN, Rutgers and Penn State, they’re teeming with school spirit. Their events always have a high turnout and they’re nationally known for their pep.

But I really don’t understand where we went wrong in this department. Our men’s basketball team is a rather large moneymaker on this campus and even made it to the NEC, but sometimes the amount of fans in our bleachers pale in comparison to the teams we play.

Beyond sports, the other areas of school spirit are also lacking. Every student organization is required to put on events, but only a few organizations ever really have a large turnout like Meet the Greeks and the ISA Fashion Show, and black girl magic.

Part of the issue is that some of the clubs don’t seem inclusive. A common complaint I hear is that people don’t realize that the average student can attend Greek events or events by specific cultural or ethnic clubs.

My first year at FDU, I didn’t realize that those clubs were open-invite, even if their fliers were posted around campus, because they seemed to be only geared toward a single demographic.

Another part of the issue is the way the events are communicated. Some “events” listed on the online calendar and published on Student Life’s calendar aren’t actually open to the public. I remember assigning a story to a writer and having her come to me stating that it was just a private meeting/training program that was not open to the public.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like FDU has absolutely no school spirit. We have movie nights that have a relatively good turnout, “Knight of the Living Dead” is always popular, and we always have a great turnout at the student organization fair. But students need a better way to show their school pride.

Many students have a lot of gripes with this school – the food, the Wi-Fi, the water, academic advising, CORE classes, parking – but on the same token, many students are also really happy here, myself included.

I want to be able to actually show my school spirit in a way other than through attending basketball games, because let’s face it, sports are not for everyone. We need a good old-fashioned pep rally. The name of the game is allure.

We need an event awesome enough that it’ll make people want to actually stay at school for the weekend for once.

We could have the step team perform, the waffle stand, a barbeque, a raffle for FDU apparel, face painting with our school colors, a t-shirt decorating contest for the best handmade FDU top, make FDU noisemakers, etc. The options are endless.

Beyond that, we could have an extensive spirit week where we could designate special days for certain apparel, hold door or poster-decorating contests, hold a field day, hang student art in the hallways, have a “professors vs. students” activity war, or have a university-wide cosplay or dress-up for a day.

There are unlimited possibilities. I know that if just one major student organization got on board with these suggestions, a lot more would follow. It really can’t hurt to try. Worse comes to worst, nobody attends the events, but then at least we’ll know that there is no basis for a complaint if people simply don’t care.

But I think they do.