Monday, February 24, 2014

Dr. Faulkner: School Spirit

This past week the college hosted the District 9 AA High School Basketball Tournament.  Kudos go again to Bobby Hudson and all the members of the Vol State community that made this a great event.

I was only able to attend the last night (Tuesday) and saw some great games.  Our Richard Moore Gymnasium was packed with “loud and proud” fans supporting their respective teams.  Some had driven quite a distance to be here.

Contrast that with attendance at our college basketball games.  This past Wednesday evening when the Lady Pioneers tipped off there were an estimated 20 people (not counting the Columbia State men’s team) in attendance.  As the evening progressed a few more folks arrived but attendance was far below 100 at the start of the men’s game.

I told Wanda, “I feel a blog coming on.”

Why is it that we don’t support college events?  Not just sports but also our musical and theater events, our diversity events, guest speakers, and many others?  I know all the usual responses.

We are not a residential campus.

Our students are all working and don’t hang around the college.

Non-traditional students that make up half our population aren’t interested in extracurricular stuff.

So maybe students have a reason. But what is our excuse?  I seldom see more than a handful of faculty and staff at events.  If we really mean it when we say we care about students shouldn’t we demonstrate that by caring about what is important to them?  Whether it is basketball or a concert or softball or a theater production our students have put in hours of practice and significant effort and we should honor that with our presence.  And shouldn’t we support each other and show coaches and musical directors, and theater producers that we honor their hard work?  And maybe if we lead by example and communicate to students the importance of supporting one another, they may start showing up also.  Offering a little appropriate extra credit wouldn’t hurt either.

I understand that everyone can’t attend every event.  I’m not able to do so and so I don’t expect you to either.  But here is my challenge to the Vol State community.  I will keep track of how many events I attend for the rest of the semester.  I double-dog dare you to beat my record!

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

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