The whisper of the crowd

The tailgating. The endless trash talking. The anticipation as a winning throw makes it into the end zone.

College football season is nothing less than an American tradition that brings schools together to root for their teams.

The past few years have been a transition period for Kent State football and the team’s improving record is pretty impressive. But one crucial element is missing in the team’s attempt to make Kent State football a source of national notoriety: school pride.

Empty bleachers constantly plague the football team and many other Kent State athletics. Even though students can attend games for free, the student body generally ignores Kent State sports. Over the summer, stadium seating was actually removed from Dix Stadium without the threat of any significant effects.

Where is our blue and gold pride?

Whether students want to believe it, our attendance at sporting events gives many an impression of our university. Sports and recreation bring money, recruitment and media attention, and the NCAA even created an attendance policy in 2005 that can change a team’s division if attendance at football games is too low.

We find it surprising that Kent State students don’t seize the opportunity to support school sports, especially while they constantly complain that the campus doesn’t have enough to do. Supporting school sports would not only boost university morale but also acknowledge the hard work of the men and women who represent us in events across the country.

We understand not everyone likes sports. So attend a play, fashion show or art exhibit. Kent State students are fortunate to attend such a diverse campus, and it’s a shame to not take advantage of our school’s individuality.

Even if a school event is not free, it probably costs significantly less than it would outside the college realm. Talented Kent State students are tomorrow’s best playwrights, athletes, musicians and designers. The list could go on. Why not take a peek at their gifts before they cost hundreds of dollars to see?

The tuition we pay funds programs, so if nothing else, we should want to get every dollar’s worth out of our college experience.

Most of all, we want to encourage you to get out there and be involved. Start an intramural team with a group of friends. Protest for something you believe in. Join a campus organization that means something to you.

Our university, like our football program, needs student cheerleaders. If we don’t believe in Kent State and the value of an education here, why should anyone else?

Supporting school sports and other student activities shows our school has a sense of unity. Cheering for a Golden Flashes touchdown or celebrating a winning

basket can bring 30,000 people together for one moment.

College sports have a trickle-down effect — once students have immense pride in their sports team, they usually have a sincere pride about their school.

Look at Ohio State football or Duke

basketball. When a school has a certain pride about itself, it becomes contagious. These schools might be bigger than Kent State, but there is nothing that says the size of a school determines the size of the student body’s school pride.

Kent State football takes on Delaware State tomorrow. See you on the 50-yard line.

The above editorial is the consensus of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose members are listed to the left.