Editorial: When it comes to school spirit, it’s quality – not quantity – that matters

When students choose to come to Case Western Reserve University, chances are it’s not for the football games or because you can find cheesy CWRU gear at any Wal-Mart, gas station, or turnpike rest stop. Students come to CWRU for the classes, not for the school spirit. Like anything else at CWRU, it takes a lot of effort to have school spirit, but – like true CWRU students – the students who work hard to show off their school spirit are perfectionists and could rival just about any student at any giant state school.

Instead of complaining about the quantity of school spirit, we wanted to recognize the quality of spirit students showed this weekend. Those who attended the Homecoming parade or football game weren’t just there as passive bystanders, but were the die-hards: a large group of first-years covered in blue and white face paint in the student section, a group of Delta Gammas and Sigma Nus walking alongside their float despite the battery of their truck dying just as the parade started, groups of students ceaselessly ringing the white cowbells USG handed out that morning, and one girl in a pink Case hoodie who took it open herself to lead the entire student section in Spartan cheers and chants throughout the whole football game. If school spirit was an exam, these folks were the curve busters, the traditional CWRU overachievers.

Lucky for most of the student population, they don’t receive grades for school spirit. But what are they missing out on? Well, for one thing, they’re missing out on the “traditional” college experience. Sure, that’s a pretty subjective idea, but – like so many other things at CWRU – the Spartans are an incredible football team and it’s a shame to not take the opportunity to see them play ball or to be part of the blue-and-white-bedecked crowd in the stands. A lot of students enjoy complaining that there’s nothing to do on campus, but when parades are marching down our streets or Karl Rishe and Mark Starr are refereeing an all-girls football game or UPB and The Spot are offering free food during the game, we don’t want to hear that there’s nothing to do around here. Opportunities abound – whether you take advantage of them or not.

Yes, we understand – Homecoming is kind of silly. But keep this in mind: 1500 students voted in the Homecoming king and queen contest. 940 voted in the last SEC referendum. Maybe Eben and Alexa were onto something – maybe CWRU students need that opportunity to be silly, the opportunity to let loose a little bit more. So, in the spirit of Homecoming, it would be way too serious of us to lecture the student body for a lack of school spirit. We’d rather recognize the enormous outpouring of school spirit from the small but dedicated group of students and staff who participated in Homecoming activities this year. And, for students who missed out on Homecoming, we encourage you to become part of a community bigger than yourselves and to add your mark to whatever silly tradition comes along next.