Students show support during game earlier this season. Photo by Chris Crews
Charlotte struggles to find identity with lack of tradition
“Hail University! To you we sing our praise. May Charlotte’s light dispel the night, illumine all our days. In Charlotte’s crown the brightness gem we see. Without your power our finest hour would hold no victory. So let us love your life and cherish your great name. To aid your cause and uphold your laws and your enduring fame.”
Believe it or not, these are the words of our alma mater. A song in which alums and current students should cherish. A bond in which the past meets the present. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at UNC Charlotte.
The lack of tradition at this university can be frustrating at times. And that’s not because I don’t love this university – I do. My love for this institution is what has caused me to voice my concern.
While being a student journalist I have to separate myself from being a student first. This is extremely difficult at times, but it doesn’t stop me from planning my future as a UNC Charlotte graduate. My goal is to continue giving to this university even after my days of cramming in Atkins Library have come and gone. I’ll do this because, quite frankly, this is my school.
But when I come back in 20 years to watch my beloved 49ers hit the hardwood, I want to join with the person beside me, locking arms, singing this cherished song. I want to feel the goosebumps when we reach the end. I want to hear the cheers of Niner Nation, past and present, because we are one.
Enough with the excuse that we’re not old enough to have tradition. I’m sick of hearing it. This school has been in existence long enough to not have any of these problems.
In order to have tradition, you must first establish tradition.
When I attend games at Appalachian State or Virginia Tech, I’m overwhelmed by the response when their respected alma maters are played at the conclusion of an athletic event. Could you imagine if this school had that much pride? If we did, then maybe you wouldn’t see students walking around in East Carolina, Davidson, or better yet, Appalachian State gear.
This school has gotten better over the years, but it’s not there yet. In fact, it’s nowhere near where it should be. For a school of 26,000 students and over 100,000 alums this shouldn’t be an issue.
Embrace this school. Learn the history of this school. While not all the tradition is centered on athletics, there is plenty of it that can still be taught and handed down to future generations.
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