illustration by Nicole Leddy

Arguing the source of our school’s lack of enthusiasm

While sports junkies at the U of O may be unwilling to admit our school is seriously lacking some spirit, any student on campus can see that we don’t hold a candle to our rivals in terms of fandom and turnout. With a genuinely impressive roster of star sportsmen and women, the problem of our missing school spirit has more than a few Gee-Gees scratching their heads. What is the issue at the U of O? Why don’t we care about showing our spirit at every turn?

Point: No spirit, no problems

IT’S NOW SEPTEMBER; summer has come and gone and everyone on campus is in need of something to spice up their classless afternoons. If you’re a student at the U of O, I suggest studying or joining a club because, in all reality, spirit at this school is dying a grisly death. I’ll admit, at least for the duration of 101 Week, there is a pretty decent turnout of Gee-loving students. But, after the first few weeks, the euphoria dies down and there are few students besides the Jockey Club left trying to salvage the back-to-school feeling.

The games that our athletes play are free for every U of O student to see, but we still have a low attendance that is steadily decreasing each year. Obviously students don’t care how well or poorly our teams do—and the Gee-Gees do a lot of do both. If you ask me, the problem with spirit at this school is not a unique issue. Who actually goes to university to repeat the same lame effort of trying to muster up enthusiasm for a poor sports team they were forced into in high school? Sure, it’s fun for the athletes, but it’s almost entirely pointless for the rest of the student body.

The fact of the matter is, our lack of school spirit is not a result of our athletes not being good enough; it’s a result of students coming to a new environment and looking for experiences that don’t remind them of high-school doldrums. U of O students are looking for a new scene, not just a new sports team.

—Jevon James

Counterpoint: Students do enough, sans spirit

STUDENTS AT THE U of O have enough bloody things to worry about without concerning themselves with how our football season is progressing. Sure, we likely have the same kind of course load and amount of reading material to sift through as any Queen’s or University of Toronto student does, but we have the added issues of a frustrating administration and ill-planned initiatives (I’m looking at you, U-Pass) to deal with that students at other schools simply don’t. When you’re forced to spend an hour and a half in line to get your books and another two or three to obtain a bus pass, who has the time or energy to care at all about U of O sports?

Honestly, the Gee-Gees boast an impressive variety of sports and a full roster of exceptional talent—I’ll give you that. But the issue isn’t that our teams are too terrible to turn out for; it’s that we’re all too damn busy on this campus to care about more than our own problems. Call us selfish students if you must, but a day in the life of a U of O undergrad is by no means easy. We have classes to attend, co-op placements to interview for, professors to rub elbows with, and a heck of a lot of homework to do.

Hell, I’d love to hit up a home opener with some friends and check out the

after-party at a campus pub, but it’s week one of classes and I already have two assignments and a paper due. Maybe when the Gee-Gees find a way to offer extra credit for attending games I’ll start to fill the stands, but until then I’m staying here in front of my computer and working my fingers to the bone.

—Jaclyn Lytle