CSUB students seek school spirit

Caché Cantrell

Senior Staff Writer

Before attending CSUB, I came from a high school with extreme school spirit and tradition. A sea of roaring students would fill the bleachers for rallies, cheerleaders would perform to the music of the band and the rally would conclude with a performance by our mascot. I don’t want to say that CSUB is the polar opposite, but the university is extremely weak in school spirit when I compare the two. Why is that?

According to Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment data, CSUB has, as of fall 2012, 8,042 students enrolled on the main campus. Of those, an average of only 153 students attend soccer games, 169 attend basketball games and 51 attend baseball games. Where is the rest of the student body during these games and other campus events? Where is CSUB’s school spirit?

Senior communications major Moriah Lee thinks that school spirit is nonexistent on campus.

“I don’t think there really is school spirit,” Lee said. “I come to class and leave as fast as I can.”They need to have more interesting stuff that’ll grab people’s attention and maybe more advertising. I don’t go on the website unless it’s to check my grades. When I get my diploma I’ll have school spirit, but as far as anything else, no,” Lee added.

She also suggested that the campus hold concerts, referring to the Ludacris concert at Cal State Northridge as an example.

Senior communications major Brian Porter explained that in order for school spirit to improve, the socialization on campus needs to improve as well. Students need a place they can congregate and interact with one another outside of the class setting. Porter suggested that the school have a bar called the “Roadrunners.” In reference to The Roost on campus, Porter said, “It’s got too much of that corny vibe to it. No one’s going in there like, ‘Man I’m trying to get my buzz on at the Roost.'”

I completely agree with Porter: campus socialization and school spirit are intertwined. When students have a place to congregate and hang out it allows them to network with one another.

Beginning in Fall 2013, students will see some changes. Athletics Marketing Promotions Coordinator Kelly Leonardo is going to work alongside other campus resources like ASI and Student Affairs to improve the student experience.

“Our main goal is to give the best CSUB student experience, that way they have a great four-year experience and they become great alumni who want to someday give back,” said Leonardo.

According to Leonardo, the Athletics Department will be doing some new things to improve school spirit and student participation. For example, there will be a section exclusively for students called the Rowdy Zone during sporting events, and, because CSUB is now participating in the Western Athletic Conference, students will be able to travel with the team during the WAC tournament. A spirit program student fee will be utilized to increase student life starting in the fall of 2013.

In the Athletics Department’s defense, they do have some good incentives to get people to go to games. However, I think that the efforts to get information out to the campus community is lacking. Sure, we have access to the information online, but as Lee pointed out, a lot of students don’t go on our campus website.

Those who coordinate campus events need to understand that this is a commuter college and that they may have to work a little harder when it comes to communication if they want involvement to increase. If not, most students will continue what they have been doing: coming to class and heading home.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve student involvement on campus, you can contact Kelly Leonardo via email at [email protected]