Busing students to the NCAA Div. III Final Four was a step in the right direction, but poor turnout at the event showed that school spirit is still a problem on this campus. Those individuals who braved the nine-hour bus ride, including the brothers of Theta Delta Chi and the women’s basketball team, deserve credit ? especially when the newly redesigned mascot and cheerleaders did not come.

While it is commendable that the Palestra had the highest attendance since 1992 with 1,044 people when the men’s basketball team defeated Williams College on March 2, other smaller schools typically average more than that many people at their college games. The proportion of students who attended the Final Four exemplified the discrepancy between the level of spirit between schools.

UR ? the largest school at the tournament ? sent only one half-full bus. In contrast, Otterbein sent three buses and Carthage sent four buses. The administration of Carthage proved their commitment to school spirit when the president of Carthage paid for the buses and fronted money for tickets during the school’s spring break.

UR administrators need to make a similar commitment. One of the often-articulated reasons for freshman housing was to promote a sense of community and school spirit. If the university truly wants to promote school spirit, then it needs to follow through by doing this in other areas.

Lip service is no longer enough ? administrators must put their proverbial money where their mouth is.

Although UR did give some money towards the buses, promotion and organization fell to the hands of individual students. Administration cannot do everything alone ? students need to carry some of the burden, too.

Students Together In Networking Graduates is the closest thing we have to a spirit group on campus, as it proclaims to “[work] hard to maintain school spirit by attending games for different sports.”

However, few members of STING were in attendance at the Final Four or even the games at Brockport. STING needs to follow their goals by helping to inform and publicize important events, as well as providing warm bodies to fill the stands. If they cannot fulfill the position of a spirit group, then one needs to be created to fill the void.

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