School spirit at athletic events is integral to developing the community that makes a small university successful. Sports allow the spectators to relax and enjoy fellowship while united against the opponents. It is athletics that often turn alumni into donors.
The school spirit at this university for athletics is appallingly low. The lack of student body support is surprising considering that the campus emphasizes community.
What better way to be a community and show solidarity than attend performances of our fellow students? The support level is somewhat understandable, but there are steps that should be taken by our student body and administration to promote school spirit and foster the community amongst all students.
As a Christian liberal arts university, athletics is not the first aspect that comes to mind when you think of HU. The Foresters play in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), a governing body that outsiders do not understand and most students did not know of before they came here. The school has not won recent championships, and most of its outdoor events are in the bipolar Indiana weather. These conditions do not favor an outpouring of fans at athletic events, but they should not discourage the student body to the level that it does.
With these conditions in mind, there are several steps that can be taken to remedy the situation. The administration needs to financially support athletics better – which means not expecting the teams to fundraise the majority of their operational budgets. The upgrades to the facilities cannot stop until they are at least on par with our peer institutions. The athletes themselves need to try to interact with non-athletes more so than most do now. Finally, the student body needs to take the initiative to support their fellow students, regardless if they care for the sport or not. It is not what you do, but whom you do it with and whom you do it for.
Huntington is behind on school spirit at sporting events. Other Crossroads League schools outpace us at their home games, and Taylor has made national news for their Silent Night tradition.
We need more school spirit, and showing up to athletic events can be a start to that movement.
The Huntingtonian editorial is written by the editorial staff: Jessi Emmert, Brad Barber, Josh Lanphier, Jared Huhta, Rachel Batdorff, Laura Good, Sara Marshall and Alex Hoffman. It reflects the viewpoint of the editors only and does not represent the viewpoint of Huntington University. To respond to the editorial, comment on it at www.huntingtonian.com.