Homecoming raises questions about school spirit at SHU

During Homecoming, there is a lot of talk about school spirit. It seems like at every turn, someone is asking us to show some school spirit, whether it’s making a banner or going to a sports game. Do we have school spirit at Seton Hill University (SHU)?

First, we have to define school spirit. Is school spirit just about loving our school? Is it about supporting and attending sports events? Is it about wearing crimson and gold and shouting “Go Griffins”?

If it’s about sporting events, then we don’t think SHU is necessarily spirited. Most of us have never attended a sporting event on campus. Maybe it’s because it feels too much like high school, half-heartedly cheering on the team because we feel like we should. Maybe we are all just too swamped with school work.

We aren’t saying that the athletic programs are not an important part of our school or that they don’t work hard, but they don’t seem to be our first focus at SHU. Should they be? The answer depends on the person.

Another thing we’ve noticed is the shocking differences between support for men and women’s sports. As a school that used to be a women’s college, the contrast between attendance at games is unexpected. Try watching a women’s soccer game and then going to a men’s game right after. The viewers increase exponentially.

So if we are going to try for school spirit, it really has to be fair and even. If we are going to support our sports teams and show up in our crimson and gold, then we can’t just support the men, or even just certain teams.

But does school spirit have to be limited to athletics? A lot of people at SHU aren’t into sports. We don’t all have to enjoy the same things, but how do the nerdy academic students who haven’t watched a sports game in their lives get spirited?

Having a passion for one’s work is spirit, no matter what he/she is doing. The Setonian staff loves to write and produce news, but there are countless majors at SHU. Most students are studying their major because they care about what they are studying and they want to do something in the world when they graduate. Caring about what you’re studying can be a form of school spirit, after all, we are here to learn.

We can also be passionate about the Catholic heritage of SHU. The history here is overwhelming. Check out the archives for a couple of hours — make a visit to Caritas Christi, knowing where our school came from should fill students with pride and that elusive spirit we keep looking for.

Loving our school for all its flaws and successes is considered spirit, as well. Some days we can be frustrated by something that seems to be an exclusive downfall to SHU, but remember, we are pretty lucky to be able to attend a private, liberal arts university. Not everyone has that chance.

Homecoming is quickly approaching. We don’t know the answer to the school spirit question, but we encourage you to look into it. School spirit is largely a personal thing, but maybe you can find a group of people who are spirited in the same way you are. Get together and show your spirit for whatever you care about at SHU. Homecoming can only be a success if there is some sort of spirit.

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