Howling for all the wrong reasons

Last Thursday, Seawolves howled at the moon…because they didn’t get to howl long enough.

In the midst of a rejuvenated attempt to boost Sonoma State school spirit, Associated Students Productions threw a one-of-a-kind, outdoor, free on-campus dance party to kick off Homecoming Weekend. It was a great idea.

But perhaps it was too great, because the event was shut down an hour and a half before it was supposed to end.

As usual, students flocked to social media to vent the next morning. Many called Sonoma State “lame,” asking why a capacity was set on an outdoor event (even though it’s somewhat unrealistic not to think security measures would be put into place on an on-campus event).

But why blame Associated Students when they’re on the students’ side? How do you think this dance even came to be in the first place? The entire process was student-driven, from event staff to entertainers – the whole idea even originated from a student. In contrast to the Green Music Center’s performance line-up catered largely to an older demographic, Associated Students tried to give students something new, fun and free to pump up their Seawolf pride.

And obviously, it worked. Seawolves, be proud that 500 students was a laughable fraction of how many actually showed up. Yes, 500 may seem awfully small in hindsight, but do you know how many people have gone to the previous years’ homecoming dances? Did you even know there were any?

It’s no secret that compared to local schools like Stanford, San Jose State and UC Berkeley, our collective school spirit is somewhat pitiful. With such a heavy nationwide emphasis on college football, our lack of a team may make it somewhat hard for us to channel Seawolf pride.

But there are so many other on-campus sports to enjoy and support other than football, and we know it. With free student admission to pretty much every regular season game, there’s no excuse for students complaining about a lack of things to do in Rohnert Park.

The good news is that sports attendance seems to be growing, especially with the largely successful Homecoming Weekend we just had. And the better news is that attendance and spirit will continue to grow, especially with student organizations’ programs and activities that are calling students’ names. 

Noma Nation, the Tradition Coalition and Sports Management Group are three up-and-coming student movements that are constantly creating ways to promote unity and spirit within our student body. These new, innovative approaches may be the perfect solution to a long-standing problem of the lack of Seawolf pride. The STAR commends these groups for their recognition of this problem, and their so far successful efforts to revitalize our campus. 

So Seawolves, it’s OK to be disappointed that you didn’t get to dance last week. But you’re mad at the wrong people. In fact, you shouldn’t be mad at all. 

Ignite your disappointment into the initiative to attend more student events. Let’s boost our student engagement and involvement, and make it so that as far as incoming freshmen are concerned, we’ve always had a kick-ass homecoming. After all, if we continue to support on-campus, student-run programs, next time Associated Students will know to prepare for a higher capacity.