A sea of purple and white, pom-poms waving in the air and stands filled with roaring enthusiastic students—the classic image of what a spirited campus would look like… at least in the movies.
School spirit, or lack of, is a topic that is brought up ever so often here on campus. Most recently with the celebration of this year’s homecoming weekend, the question has once again arisen: do students at Asbury have school spirit?
Tyler Zwiefel, an Asbury alumnus and current Wilmore resident, notes that the outward expression of spirit at Asbury was very different than it is today. “When I came to Asbury, there was a pep band for soccer games and a group who brought djembes and drums to lead the crowd in chants and cheers. For most of the home soccer games, there was standing room only” Zwiefel said, “Asbury spirit was definitely bigger then than it is now.”
Groups such as the Screaming Eagles committee and other individual students work to bridge the gap from athletics to the rest of the student body as well as create fun ways to encourage school spirit on campus. Chellie Waldron, a senior at Asbury, along with her friends, seniors Anna McKain and Alyssa Downs, decided to organize a spirit week leading up to this year’s homecoming weekend. “Spirit weeks are fun because they get people excited for homecoming weekend, and it is always fun to dress crazy every once in awhile.” said Waldron. “There were some people who participated throughout the week, but the majority did not.”
While spirit week may have been a flop, many students, especially athletes have noted a definite increase in school spirit and attendance at games. Sarah Sterling, a senior on the volleyball team said, “My freshman year school spirit on campus was huge but it kind of winded down after that, but I am noticing a positive change. Students are starting to get excited about sports games again.” Clifford Evans, a junior on the men’s Soccer team has also noticed a change. “The stands have been packed in almost all of our recent home games.” Clifford said, “It is definitely a lot better than last year.”
In a school with over 1400 students and 85 percent of those students living on campus, committees are working on getting students more involved and excited to be Asburians. When asked why she works on the school’s pep squad, junior Chelsea Bartlett, a co-chair of the Screaming Eagles committee, said, “Not only is it a great way to escape from school work for a little, but it allows you to create a community with people you normally wouldn’t talk to.”
Our town may not be draped with our school colors and shutting down on the eve of every big game, but we are definitely not lacking in spirit. While it may be hard to pull of a successful spirit week, the atmosphere in regards to athletics and school spirit is definitely moving in the right direction.
“We as a student body need to start showing how proud we are to be a student at Asbury,” Waldron said, “One way is to show some school spirit.”