School spirit at Stony Brook University remains abysmally low, even with an array of social programs and events popping up here and there. Instead of “getting our red on,” we oftentimes seem to be cloaked in a dingy, somber shade of bluish-gray that reflects our reluctance to come together as a collegiate community, and collectively show our school pride. Of course, there are opportunities to do so, like cheering on our football team during Homecoming, rocking it out at Brookfest and watching the Roth Regatta. While a few enjoyable college-wide events such as these are scattered throughout the school year, more should be done to give students greater motivation to celebrate being denizens of Seawolves country.
Commonly, once Saturday morning arrives, the campus of Stony Brook transforms into a bleak and desolate ghost town. A grim silence pervades through the air, and nothing can be seen except for a few students. Just this Saturday, Rothapalooza took place at Stony Brook. It had all the perks a successful event usually has: free food, enjoyable activities and even a bounce castle. Yet, it looked as though only a fraction of the student body attended. Likewise, on the following day, a SBU Weekend Life-sponsored “May the Fourth Be With You” event was held at the SAC Plaza, complete with games, a screening of “Frozen” at Staller Steps and free ice cream from a Mr. Softee truck. However, yet again, student turnout was pretty low. If “May the Fourth” were held on a weekday, without a doubt, hundreds of students would swarm the campus.
The presence of students on campus has a profound effect on school spirit. If students only come to Stony Brook just to attend classes, we are failing as a university to equip our campus with resources that can make college life an enjoyable experience. Evidently, more events need to revolve students’ schedules. The dates and times of these events are critical deciding factors on whether or not students will attend. As students manage intensive academic course loads, holding down jobs and maintaining other responsibilities, social events on campus need to occur more frequently and at more reasonable hours. While the weekends are perfect for residential students who live on campus, commuters also deserve to make the most of their time on campus during the weekdays.
The diversity of the student body necessitates a multitude of school functions to appeal to each and every demographic. Sporting events, musical concerts and recreational programs may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If Stony Brook increases its outreach to pique the interests of more students, school spirit will inevitably rise.
Nevertheless, attending social events is only a minor way that will encourage students to take school spirit into full consideration. In all honesty, true school spirit is like a flame that is kindled by our sincere love for our school. The amount of excitement and gratification we have for our academic institution cannot simply be felt. It must be manifested through our support and representation of Stony Brook to the rest of the world. Through participation in more college-wide events and confidence in our university’s legacy, we can seal the cracks in our fragmented student network to achieve a higher level of school spirit within our campus livelihood.