The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN school spirit is lacking, but getting better

School spirit at this university, in the past four years I have been here, has lagged. If our school spirit was a person, he would be struggling to get by. That person would just be average, and would feel a bit depressed. He would almost feel hopeless because when he thinks about his younger days, he was much more lively and vibrant.

That’s the overall sentiment I sense when CSUN’s school spirit is discussed by students, professors and university administrators.

They have good reason to say this.

The liveliness of school spirit can’t be seen at many club and organization meetings throughout campus. They are practically half dead.

School spirit is lacking when only dozens out of about 33,000 students have participated in politically oriented protests over the past four years, and perhaps even more, at CSUN.

There are signals, however, of revival. Every so often, I will spot a fellow CSUNians showing university pride when he or she sports a red CSUN hat, sweater or other gear.

Even more recently, in the past two Big West basketball tournaments I have followed, CSUN students have come in hordes to root their team on.

The same thing occurred when our men’s soccer team showed their skills and almost won the national championship.

But that’s not enough. A very large portion of the CSUN community still does not participate in sporting events, or check out campus events.

It only takes a while to sense that people feel the same way. Think about the efforts on campus that are underway to increase school spirit.

Associated Students presidential and vice presidential candidates are pushing for more spirit. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, among other goals, is pushing for more school spirit in athletics; The University Student Union is always looking for ways to encouraged school involvement and student involvement to increase school spirit.

Clearly, there are many people on campus who feel school spirit needs to be increased.

But what are the reasons for low school spirit?

Some say it is because CSUN is a commuter school. That was recently contested by someone I knew, who cited a study from Student Development and International Programs that concludes CSUN is not a commuter campus. After inquiring from the students and two SDIP officials, I couldn’t find the study.

CSUN Institutional Research and its director concluded that at least two-thirds of students commute from various cities within Los Angeles county.

Regardless, there are a substantial amount of students on campus who go home after class when they don’t have to. There are people who just don’t care about having school pride and spirit.

In that regard, we have to change our mentality. If we do, that could help change our reality.

Samuel Richard can be reached at

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