By Ryan Laverty
I find myself in a bit of a quandary. I don’t know who is to blame but my guess is it is equally dispersed. This is not something I just realized, but something that has been evident in my four-plus years here at the University of Calgary. This campus, as a whole, has no spirit. While I watched the American college football bowl games over the holidays, I saw how many students were at the games, no matter how far away their team was playing. I thought to myself, how many U of C students care that much about our sports teams? The answer is just about no one.
This doesn’t mean there are no exceptions to the rule, because it seems to me the people I see at Dinos football games in the fall are the same people I see at our women’s field hockey games or at our volleyball games. It saddens me that most people’s support of Dinos athletics extends no further than the 60 some dollars they are forced to pay every year. Our Dinos teams are one of the best parts of our institution, and those of you who aren’t taking an active role in supporting them are detracting from your own university experience.
With all this said I see the other side of the sword as being equally sharp. I have played organized, competitive sports my entire life, so I know how strong the bond can be between team members. These people become your best friends and obviously they are the people you will choose to hang around with. But from an average student’s perspective, I see the Dinos as a clique into which I will never gain access. I don’t know any Dinos athletes and from what I can tell they don’t care to know me. The only open events they have are cabarets, where I spend the night with my friends and they with the rest of the Dinos. So why would I spend my Friday or Saturday night going to cheer for them?
This is a subject that has been on many people’s minds, but no one has come right out and said it. I will. Something needs to be done to raise the level of our school spirit, and it is the responsibility of each and every member of our campus community to do so. As far as I am concerned, all parties are guilty, from the 18-year-old first year, to the teams and all the way up to the Students’ Union and the administration. While there is no excuse for the apathy infecting this campus, my bet is that if we had some events that integrated our athletes and the regular Joe, we might find a larger fan base at Dinos games.
I am proud to be a student at the University of Calgary, and I am proud to be a fan of Dinos athletics. I hope in this new year, I will see some new faces and hear some new voices at the gym, rink, pool, field…