Hail to all the Matadors


Illustration by: Gabriel Orendain-Necochea

Nupur Kumar

Illustration by: Gabriel Orendain-Necochea

I have been to four freshman convocations. Yes, FOUR! One as a first time freshman when I was forced to go and three others as a student leader in Housing when I had to force others to

I can practically run the whole evening down to you right now. In University 100 classrooms across campus professors will coax students into going with threats of fails or incentives of extra credit. While Housing RAs with plastered smiles do the same with their unwilling residents.

When the day finally arrives the temperature is always unbearable with a pretty consistent 100+ degrees. As students make their way down to campus they are corralled into the area between the library and the USU. Quickly, popsicles, water bottles and fliers start flying around as cheerleaders, RAs, orientation leaders, athletes, and even Matty the Matador try and persuade first time freshman that CSUN is a great school, even though it was not their first choice.

As first time freshman roll their eyes they are again corralled into ridiculously long lines and filed into hundreds of seats in front of the library with music and pep that doesn’t reflect their
apathetic attitudes.

Our president, Jolene Koester will speak a beautiful speech that I can practically mimic in my mind. Oh, that was a new line, I think as I smirk in my seat, and examine the program schedule. I always eagerly wait and enjoy listening to the student speaker who will give a glorious speech with metaphors and similes and a story of failure then triumph to which I wish I could relate.

Of course the eager ears start perking up when the keynote speaker tells a story that the freshman were supposed to read but didn’t. The keynote speaker attempts to relate their
intriguing story with one that connects to college. Then finally the procession comes to a close, with the alma mater sung by only the orientation leaders and freshman hurrying to get away.

This is what I expected this year, and yes, that is how it began. But the second that the group realized the Matador statue was to be unveiled there was a buzz in the air.

What was that buzzing? Was it…I dare not say it…PRIDE? As the students peered over at the veiled statue I noticed for the first time that there were not only first time freshman in this

There were alumni, faculty, sophomores, juniors, seniors, etc. Were they all here to see the statue? The same statue that was getting negative publicity from the hordes of ‘rioters’ preaching the words of class cuts that we all knew too well.

However despite that commotion, the crowd was excited, as President  Koester gave a new speech. (I didn’t know this one!) The statue was unveiled and the audience cheered! A cheer
that is rarely heard in our amazing school. The school that gives us an education, plus experience and life-long memories and more. As the cheerleaders waved excitedly and we continued the normal processions I listened to the speakers with a new fervor. Desiring to hear the words of encouragement and success.

As a senior it finally made sense. I let my mind drift and stare at the pleasantly billowing flag on top of our library and realized this was it.

This was the moment when CSUN finally leaves the realm of being just an easy to get into commuter school and really turns into a university. A university that we are finally becoming
proud of. This isn’t JUST CSUN, this is finally becoming THE CSUN.

As I walked away from the ceremony I heard the alma mater in the background, the one that I have heard a hundred times and still don’t know a word of beyond ‘Hail to all the Matadors’ and felt a pleasant tug.

And I heard the echo of it from the bookshelves of the bookstore, to the Sierra clock tower, between the orange trees in the Orange Grove all the way down to the G4 parking lot. I am a Matador and, ‘We Hail our Matador.’