Get your blue and gold ready!

Anastasia Spytsya

It’s that time of the year when everything is due. You guys probably cannot wait to go to that last morning class tomorrow and then head home to eat some turkey and see your family. And then you will come back here to face this last, hardest period of the semester. Most of us will be walking around campus stressed out, focused on getting everything done on time and not even thinking about Kent State, the school that puts you under so much stress yet gives you the most expensive gift – education.

I adore Kent State. I love just about everything about this institution, including our athletic teams. In fact, I bleed blue and gold. I love Kent State football, I love Kent State volleyball, track and field, basketball and every other team. I love it all because these teams represent the school I attend, and I feel obligated to show my support and to give something back to Kent State: the pride and the school spirit.

But I haven’t seen many students at the home games lately. I remember the first football home game this season: The student section was full, but it was passive. I remember a volleyball game where I saw a total of about 30 students. What’s up with that? Where’s your school spirit, guys? Are you not proud to be a Golden Flash? Maybe you should consider transferring schools.

I believe that attending Kent State home games is extremely important for a couple of reasons. It actually looks like a math equation to me.

First, if students come to the games, it shows that they care for their fellow schoolmates. As a friend of mine, Ian Pinckney, said, “The support we get from students gives us (Kent State’s basketball team) energy and takes the energy from our opponent. It mentally prepares us for the game and helps us.” Therefore, if students go to the games, it will help our teams win.

Second, when Kent State athletic teams win games, it brings prestige to our school. Kent State becomes known for not just a school “where they shoot people,” but for the hard work and dedication to succeed. Of course, our athletes are not the only people who work hard – all of us do (I hope, at least), but they are the ones who represent our school in the country.

Third, by bringing a better reputation to Kent State, we will earn more money and will attract more students to come here. If our teams will continue to perform better, it will make more people come to the games and, they will spend money on tickets, food, etc. All of this money can be spent on new equipment, supplies, technologies, etc. The health of Kent State’s reputation strengthens its finances.

School spirit is something that Kent State has to work on, though. I am pretty tired of seeing Kent State students wearing other colleges’ merchandise on the campus. It is nothing else but disrespectful (unless their parents attended those colleges). It’s especially disrespectful to wear the merchandise of colleges who play in our conference; it is in our interest to see them lose. My question to people who like those schools would be “Why didn’t you go to that school, or why don’t you transfer?” Probably because Kent State offered them better conditions to set their lives up. It is something that they need to value and respect.

Remember that last second 3-pointer Al Fisher scored when we played Akron two years ago? That memory still gives me chills. Not so much because we won, but because of the feeling of unity I experienced at the game. We have so many student organizations on campus that have different beliefs; we often have debates with each other, we often disagree. But going to sports games is what brings our community together.

Developing a stronger school spirit is important for Kent State students. School pride gives us a sense of belonging. As Ian said, “When all of us are at the games, we become a family.” And it couldn’t be said any better. When we are at the games, all of us stand for the one Kent State. We need to start taking time to support Kent State’s integrity. We need to start believing that Kent State’s name is a direct reflection of ourselves.

Say it out loud: “I am from Kent State and proud! Go Flashes!”

Anastasia Spytsya is a senior Russian translation major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]