School spirit needs a boost for campus life

By Kelsey Kastrava
October 31, 2010

Many colleges and universities define school spirit as a form of sportsmanship, camaraderie, the exhibition of school colors and dedicated attendance in school and sporting events.

At Cabrini College, however, we rarely see students painted in blue and white or gathering in masses to tailgate and support events on campus. The Loquitur feels that Cabrini simply lacks school pride and spirit.

What ever happened to homecoming weekend where students, faculty and family members took pride as members of the Cabrini community? What about the spring fling block party that welcomed the student body to residential boulevard to celebrate a week of spirited events with food, fun and even alcoholic beverages for those of legal age? Remember the Cavalier Tip-Off that rallied the community together to support the winter sports? The Loquitur wants to know where all of these events went.

According to Amber LaJeunesse, assistant director of Student Engegement and Leadership, events like Cav Tip-off and spring fling have been replaced with events like the Mr. and Miss Cabrini Pageant, Black and White Gala and EPIC week.

LaJeunesse says these are all examples of how current students are creating their own unique events to create more school spirit. SEaL representatives have also confirmed that  past events were cancelled with much consideration and found it in the best interest to move forward and welcome ideas from current students.

While the Loquitur agrees that student programming groups like CAP board and Student Government Association work hard to implement events, we still do not feel that a sense of school pride dominates Cabrini’s campus. Students often find themselves visiting other colleges in the area to rally at basketball games and partake in homecoming weekends.

What is it about the events and school pride of other schools that leaves Cabrini students wishing they could be a part of a connected campus? These desirable aspects of other schools often sway Cabrini students to leave.

When looking at statistics involving retention rates, the reason for low numbers is complicated. According to the Cabrini College Fact Book 2009-2010, we have a full-year retention rate of 68.5 percent, which is significantly low for a private college like Cabrini.

While some students leave for financial reasons or because of poor grades, the Loquitur feels that many students find themselves disappointed with the lack of school spirited events.

As students at a school with a significant lack of attendance at school events and an obvious decline in school spirit, we believe that the social life and fun aspect of college plays a major role in students not only enrolling, but staying for the entire four-year duration.

Is the administration paying enough attention to school spirit and events like pep rallies, homecomings and spirit week? Or is it the students who are not engaging in the events offered to enhance a sense of spirit?

Loquitur sees the loss of a fun-filled weekend like spring fling as a significant difference between Cabrini and other colleges and universities. We admit that at spring fling 2006, an unfortunate violent incident caused the event to be cancelled. Is it not time to re-evaluate whether an event like spring fling, properly run, does not provide significant value to the campus?

According to LaJeunesse, “the weekend lost its purpose as students began to see it as something else and lose the true meaning of the events and occasionally turn them into a negative experience for many.” We feel we should have an opportunity to experience the event and not be excluded because of a history we were not a part of.

School spirit is in jeopardy at this school and despite the efforts of students involved in SGA and CAP board, the lack of school spirit and attendance of events makes students turn elsewhere for fun. Does Cabrini consider our fun as a selling point of the school?

Regardless of how well a school structures its academics and curriculum, young people are all interested in the same thing, which is a social life and of course school spirit.

We think a balanced college life needs more than an excellent academic program. The college needs to give more attention to social life, a sense of comradery and of course, school spirit.

“We can try anything and everything but it’s the students that decide how dedicated they are to attending and showing their support,” LaJunesse said.

The Loquitur hopes that students open themselves up to the fun opportunities that student leaders plan purposely to make our school more fun. The school should bring back some of the old events to campus to make the stories of past years come to life for current Cabrini students.

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Kelsey Kastrava

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