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Amending the dissipating school spirit on Bradley’s campus

A solar eclipse shined over Peoria on Monday, bringing students together on the quads of Bradley’s campus to observe the rare phenomenon. Students joined in looking up at the afternoon sky, talking over the science with strangers and daring their friends to take a peek without their eclipse glasses on.

Unfortunately, these enjoyable get-togethers have become few and far between at Bradley.

It shouldn’t take a once-in-a-decade event for students to come together at their school. What happened to the gatherings on the quad that came around once the weather became nice? What happened to campus pride?

There are a lot of factors that have led to this point of discontent. Budget cuts have led to majors being eliminated, which in turn has led to an increase of students having one foot out the door on their way to another school. For those staying at Bradley, it has changed their perception of the school as they see some of their friends move on to greener pastures.

Something that every incoming freshman is told is to get involved on campus by joining clubs and attending events. However, not everyone takes advantage of these opportunities, therefore limiting their overall sense of being on campus and lowering their school spirit. You come to college to experience life, so why are you limiting your opportunities?

Nowhere can this lack of school spirit be seen more than at sporting events. Save for the occasional weekend men’s basketball game, support for student-athletes and their teams is scarce. The lack of attendance shows a general feeling of detachment among the student body. While some of it can be attributed to most sports playing off campus, there are plenty of others that have events on campus or are only a short car ride away. 

A swath of negativity rolling over campus does not help the matter. Whether it’s related to the cuts, the weather or individual stress, the feeling when walking the grounds is one of disappointment and dissatisfaction. This is clearly seen when looking at social media, as Bradley’s Instagram consistently includes negative comments directed towards the school.

Having pride in our university is not just about wearing red and white, joining clubs or going to sporting events. It’s about genuinely enjoying the college experience, making connections and not dreading being on campus. We pay to go to school and we need to find ways to make the most of our time here.

No matter the cause, Bradley has a school pride problem, and the key to fixing it lies in how much the campus community is willing to change.

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The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.