Campus lacking pride because of herd mentality

Jill Lira

Homecoming Week has come and gone, and so has the accompanying burst of school pride. Now that the week is finished, it’s safe to say the ultimate lack of Washburn school spirit will prevail once more.

While some students participated in the activities, many did not get involved. For instance, sophomore Richard Flach did not participate in any Homecoming activities last week. He did, however, wear a Washburn shirt on Saturday for the game, which he did not attend.

“I was aware it was Homecoming,” said Flach. “I just didn’t think it was that well advertised.”

It seems especially obvious that Washburn students are not as proud when compared to other area schools such as The University of Kansas or Kansas State University. Both of those NCAA Division I schools have sold out sports arenas and celebrity athletes and generally display a distinct amount of school spirit. Washburn, on the other hand, seems to be lacking enthusiasm.

Although the Washburn Student Government Association lets students know about what is going on around campus, it seems to have trouble with participation rates, at least from the students’ perspective. Freshman Shannon Lindstrom claims to be a proud student but feels as though she could display her pride more if everyone else shared it.

“I am really proud to be an Ichabod and I will be the first to admit I am not as involved as I should be,” said Lindstrom. “But it is kind of hard when everyone around you doesn’t care either.”

Lindstrom partly blames the fact that Washburn is not a NCAA Division I school.

“Although we are not as big of a school, all should still at least try and support our school in some way whether it be athletic, academic or however,” said Lindstrom.

The deficient school spirit does not stop on Washburn’s campus. The city of Topeka is not a “college town,” like Lawrence or Manhattan, built around a university or college. Julie Callahan, Topeka resident, moved from Chicago in 2003. She was completely unaware where the Washburn campus was.

“The only reason I knew Washburn existed in Topeka was because my nephew went to school there,” said Callahan. “I have never been by the campus and haven’t really seen much advertisement as to why I should.”

Although Washburn may not be bursting at the seams with school spirit, 2004 graduate Dia Hanson believes the city does support Washburn, but on a smaller scale.

“The support of Washburn is kind of an in-between situation,” said Hanson. “Topeka has always supported Washburn, and that’s great, but KU and K-State definitely get more attention since they are so close.”

However, Hanson does feel there have been improvements in spirit since she attended.

“I think spirit has gotten better throughout the years because of all the additions to the campus,” said Hanson. “It is attracting more and more traditional students.”