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What does it mean to be a brave?

It finally happened, and it was shocking, to say the least. Right in the middle of the block party, standing in front of the Sigma Chi house, a freshman, whom still is a mystery, asked me a peculiar question, “What does it mean to be a ‘Brave’?”
I never really thought about what it means to be a “Brave.” Since orientation all those summers ago, I accepted that “Braves” would be my identity for my college career and beyond. I tried to brush the inquiry off, but couldn’t, since the label was plastered across my chest on my Bradley University athletics shirt. 
It made me think.
Over the past two weeks on campus, I have seen some pretty remarkable things: a block party that made the one my freshman year resemble a quiet gathering, a Late Night BU that packed more than 1,700 students in a monument to the changing face of Bradley and a food fair complete with smiles, laughs and old friends. Coming out of welcome week we always have so much pride in the red and white!
But once classes start, and the hubbub of everyday life takes over, that pride usually takes a backseat. The strongest part of Welcome Week is that we are just a student body.
There are no cliques, no groups, no teams no organizations … just Braves. But once classes resume we break up into our greek houses, our sports teams, our clubs and organizations. We get into a routine, which leaves little room for anything else.
So the question posed was easy to answer. Being a “Brave” doesn’t mean running into battle, fighting fires or defying unbelievable challenges, it means being a part of something larger. “Braves” isn’t a logo or a brand – it’s a lifestyle. 
I challenge you to begin thinking about what being the “Braves” really means. We have a lot to be proud of but at the same time a lot still to do.
Remember that Braves was on your chest before any greek letter or organization’s name. Above all else, we are a family.
For your consideration,
Kyle Malinowski
Student Body President
Respectively Submitted on Behalf of the Student Senate
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