Hey-Hey Ho-Ho School Spirit at Bates Totally Blows

Ryan Smith, Contributing Writer

While checking my phone on a rainy Thursday in commons, I came across a story about a student at the University of Utah who threatened to set off a nuclear reactor on campus if the football team lost their game to San Diego State University.

Let me clear the air and say that I do NOT condone the detonation of nuclear weapons in response to sports games.

That said, there was a sliver of admiration I felt when I saw this headline. It’s clear that there is an elevated level of team spirit at the University of Utah. On this thought, I reflected and compared this story to my experience at Bates. Today’s social scene on campus is different than it was before I arrived at Bates in the fall of 2019 (wow I feel old saying that). The rise in popularity of anonymous apps and increasingly separated social groups has disconnected us as a student body from our united sense of community.

People point out the negatives of our shared experience too frequently, and I have seen it particularly prevalent with regard to Bates athletic events. Rarely does our whole school get behind a team’s season, and it seems we only give credit or attention when a team makes the national headlines. One could blame the pandemic for this lack of atmosphere– when was the last time they held a tailgate before the football games?

As a student and as an athlete myself, I hope to see a day when the promise of competition excites the student body, rather than the anticipation of failure and embarrassment that I believe has become all too common on our campus.

To quote the Green Goblin in Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman (how corny is that), “The one thing they love more than a hero is to see a hero fail.” I hope that as we progress through the fall season and as seasons on the horizon approach, the Bates Bobcats will have a supportive crowd filling the bleachers eager to see their classmates compete.