It is a sight that is all too familiar to many student clubs, student-athletes and other organizers on campus – emptiness. The situation can present itself in a number of forms, whether it is too many chairs unfilled, bleachers left vacant or unoccupied space that overwhelms even the most dedicated of students. It can be a demoralizing feeling when something that matters so much to some is completely disregarded by the masses. The problem comes down to a lack of community support.
Community support in this case does not refer to outside participation from the surrounding community. No, community support in this case is about the community of Springfield College. As a college, we should be supporting each other at events, athletic contests and fundraisers. What does it say about our school pride if we do not support each other?
Before I go on, I must admit that I am plenty guilty of this infraction myself. I do not attend nearly as many events and games as I should. So, this article is as much for me as it is for anyone else.
Attending events is important because it builds a better sense of community. Think about the community that already exists at Springfield College. It is safe to say that the welcoming and inclusive environment that pervades campus is what hooks many incoming students during their first visit. This school is built around its family-like atmosphere. We are all in this crazy four years known as college together.
Yet, this community could be stronger. Take, for example, the recent women’s volleyball NEWMAC Championship game featuring the Pride versus Wellesley College on Sunday, Nov. 10.
A good-sized crowd of Springfield students and supporters were rocking the roof at Blake Arena throughout the contest. The energy inside the building consequently made the game all the more entertaining and suspenseful as it went to five sets before the Pride overcame the Blue. Without the Springfield College community support, that energy would have been severely limited.
Another example is the Rob Bradford Q-and-A session that took place on November 5. The audience that filled up the Dodge Ballroom kept the questions coming for Bradford, a Springfield alum who serves as a Red Sox beat reporter and site manager for WEEI.com. Once again, the energy and participation of the crowd helped to make the event a success.
This is not a fact, but I would bet that student-athletes, student club members and other people on campus love feeling that energy. It is good to know that your fellow students, faculty and staff are supporting your endeavors and cheering you on. When the Springfield College community shows that kind of support, we truly live up to the nickname Pride.
This Friday, Nov. 15 presents a unique opportunity to showcase just how much pride this college has to share. From 3 to 4:30 p.m., students, faculty, staff and alumni have the chance to support the school in “A Celebration of Springfield College,” the title that has been chosen for President Mary-Beth Cooper’s inauguration as the institution’s 13th president.
This inauguration ceremony is a special moment for the college and for Cooper. It has the chance to be a truly memorable event, but the key rests in every person’s hands on campus. Without a full show of support, the event will lack the necessary energy that it deserves.
The Springfield College community can bring that energy. It is the only source that will suffice. Sure, there are other things that you could be doing with your time. But think back to a time when you didn’t receive support for an on-campus event or athletic match. Chances are that it is probably not a very fond memory. It is this college community’s job to support each other, and although we do not always come through, when we do, the results are electrifying.
I encourage you to make this a celebration that Springfield College will not forget for years to come. Let’s live up to our nickname.
Let’s show what Pride is all about.