The power of embracing the Louie spirit

Katie Dobrydney

School spirit can be a major part of a student’s experience while attending college. They can wear their respective school’s colors and their college logo to show support or go to an event that is held by a club on campus. The energy of school spirit is a common element many students can find on campuses across the country.

Many students who arrive at NAU may have, in one way or another, been exposed to school spirit.

Freshman David Morales said while he had only one semester under his belt, he noticed the change of spirit from the high school level to the college level.

“High school spirit, especially for me, wasn’t the greatest,” Morales said. “There weren’t great teams in terms of athletics, so the spirit wasn’t as great. Here I see a lot of school colors around campus and hear people talking about going to games, so it’s a step up from high school.”

School spirit can be an important factor when deciding how to spend one’s college life. It could grant a student an opportunity to let loose at an event that supports their university. Events can range from Lumberjack athletic games to the Spring Carnival, along with a plethora of club events hosted each week.

Sophomore Joseph Counihan said school spirit is elevated due to the history of NAU.

“Universities are more intense, and they are older so there is a tradition and pride that goes with them,” Counihan said.

Some traditions at sporting events include NAU’s Logging Sports Club sawing a log after a Lumberjack touchdown or having the Louie mascot walk around the stands to give fans a high five. Counihan said that special events such as homecoming are an easy way to see that the Lumberjack spirit is alive and well.

But in the end, NAU is still an institution for learning, which can cause students to not have time to attend Lumberjack events and show their spirit. Like many colleges, there are a vast array of majors to choose from and while some students believe certain majors are easy, others would beg a differ.

Senior Alison Bauers said her major is a big reason why she is not able to attend events.

“I’m in nursing school, so it’s kind of difficult to go out and participate in other things,” Bauers said. “Nursing is very intense. It’s a hard program and I worked way too hard to get into and [I don’t want] to mess up anything.”

Other professors and students believe having team spirit is more than showing school colors for school pride, but a way to connect with other people at the same institution. Events put on by NAU clubs could be a way to show school pride without having to attend a sporting event. NAU professor Madison Ledgerwood said students are looking for things that they want to do, even if it means it looks like school spirit is not involved.

“My impression is that most students are doing fun things but maybe school events are not what they really consider,” Ledgerwood said. “There is a big loneliness problem I think on this campus. I have a lot of students that talk about being really lonely and not having many friends.”

With having sports and events that surround the campus year round, it is ultimately up to the individual student to make the decision. On a campus that holds about 30,000 students, there are going to be some that do not enjoy going to these university hosted social events. Other students could find fun enjoying a night out with friends, staying in a watching a movie or just trying to catch up on sleep.

“I think that it is all personal preference,” Bauers said. “When I wear [a school shirt] I feel a little bit more in the school spirit and I think a lot of other people do too. I just think it’s people’s attitudes that make them have school spirit.”

Bauers said the bottom line is school spirit is up to the individual to define and to determine what energy they want to show. With not one person being like the other, there are different tastes and ideas of school fun for everyone.