Survey shows students think Southern lacks school spirit
Sandra Gomez-Aceves and Natalie Barletta – Special to the Southern News, Opinions Editor
The sound of thousands of students cheering and applauding as another goal is scored isn’t present at Southern Connecticut State University. The reason why it doesn’t occur relies in the students’ ability to be involved on the Southern campus.
In a survey conducted to 100 of SCSU’s students by the Southern News, it showed 36 percent of students considered the school’s spirit at average, while 28 percent considered it below average. The results ended up averaging a “C” letter grade.
This story is one of a six-part project for the Reporting and Writing course which included surveys conducted by journalism students who talked to different groups of 100 SCSU students each about various topics. The surveys were conducted in mid-April over one week. The topics reviewed concerned campus safety, Wi-Fi access, Buley Library renovation, campus shuttle service, favorite NFL teams and school spirit.
Many issues come to question when thinking of school spirit. Although it’s shown by attendance at sporting events, it can also be shown by involvement on various clubs on campus.
The university’s website says SCSU has over 100 clubs and organizations on its campus and considers them to “complement [the] academic program by providing opportunities for wholesome recreation, fellowship, and practical training for intelligent leadership and good citizenship.
“I think that just being involved in campus helps make everyone want to go to events,” said
Linda Adamczyk, a junior psychology major.
Adamczyk believes lack of school spirit is because she thinks “Southern is known as mostly a commuter school.”
Although Adamczyk started off her experiences at Southern feeling disconnected from the Southern community, she is now actively involved. She was an Orientation Ambassador for two years, was the former Otis the Owl and is a member of the Blue Crew. Being involved in those organizations helped motivate Adamczyk be more involved on Southern’s campus.
“A lot of people just go to classes and go home,” said Adamczyk. “Not as many people live on campus as they used to.”
Alexander Audet, a junior Math major, sees student involvement as “the method of teaching students things they can’t learn in classes.” Audet has been an active member on Southern’s campus since his freshman year. He’s involved with the fraternity Alpha Pi Delta, the vice president of the Math Club and works in the Office of Assessment and Planning.
“Being involved on this campus is natural to me,” said Audet. “By now, I think E-board positions, meetings, elections, fundraisers, paperwork and etc. are all just a part of my daily routine.”
Compared to other campuses, Southern lacks in involvement. For example, compared to the University of Connecticut, SCSU has 250 less clubs and organizations, with UConn having over 350.
Sports attendance at UCONN is also lagging by selling 24,000 less football tickets this past season than previous. Furthermore in 2013, UCONN broke Rentschler Field’s attendance record with more 42,000 attendees in a football game against Michigan State.
“UCONN’s school spirit is through the roof when it comes to sports,” said Anup Sharma, a junior allied health major commuter attending UCONN.
Sharma who’s attended both football and basketball games describes them as “energetic” and says in “intense” moments, like the NCAA Division I championship, “it’s a once in a lifetime college experience.”
Although the surveys’ results showed Southern’s school spirit is average, Alicia DiVito thinks the numbers are steadily improving. DiVito, junior business management major as well as the President of Student Government, said since her freshman year school spirit has improved thanks to the Blue Crew and predicts in three years’ time the grade will be an A.
“I really do think that we’re working our way up there, and it’s going to take time,” said DiVito.