Coming into college at California Lutheran as a freshman last year, I expected there to be a huge school spirit scene, like the ones I have seen on TV of other schools at sporting events. I was rather disappointed to see a lack of students at most athletic games on campus.
Although Cal Lutheran is a very small school, with a low student population, there is a noticeable shortage of students in the stands cheering on their school.
“When I was a freshman, I thought there would be more participation since it’s college sports. People don’t really seem excited to go to games,” sophomore Sydney Rathjens said.
I came from an all girls high school, with a student population of just about 500, yet students still found their way to many home games and came with their game faces to heckle the other team and boost the energy of ours. The student section of many of our own athletic games as well as football games at our brother school was always filled to the brim and we even had leaders of our student section to get our fans pumped up and cheering. This was all with a significantly small student population.
One issue at Cal Lutheran is that games are often on the weekends and that is when many students choose to leave campus and go home. With a visual shortage of cars in the residence parking lots by Friday afternoon, it is apparent how many students will not be there to cheer on teams.
Many of the students also are unaware of when games take place.
“I feel like no one really knows when the sporting events are happening. If I didn’t take stats for volleyball or football then I wouldn’t really know when the games are,” sophomore Nick Cohan said.
With games in the Gilbert gym, students that do attend games are scattered amongst the stands. There is no real student section for supporters to come together and support teams as a student body.
Games in the William Rolland Stadium are somewhat more grouped together. A section clearly labeled “Purple Pit” is on the right side of the stadium and most of the students sit there.
A new group on campus has been started this year called the “Purple Pit Crew.” According to their description on their Facebook page, their goal is to “promote school spirit and all of the athletic teams on campus.”
Hopefully, students will take more of an interest in this group, or at least join their social media outlets, since the group posts statuses and creates events of the games on campus to try and increase student turn out.
“I expected that in college it would be really pepped up,” freshman Purple Pit Crew co-founder Matthew Standsberry said. “Instead of being the only one going crazy, I want to have other people going crazy too.”
Another effort took place in an attempt to increase student attendance as sporting events. A pep rally was held earlier this year to introduce the fall sports teams and provide some fun for those that attended. With an incentive of free food, there was an impressive turn out.
I am on the volleyball team and we had a game on the day of the rally and there was a visible increase in fans in the stands who headed over from the pep rally to support our game.
Football games do have a more noticeable turn out of students than other sports teams. However it is nowhere near the attendance and excitement of other schools.
With homecoming this past weekend and the many athletic games that took place, more students than usual attended. The goal now is to keep up the same school spirit and attendance for games in the future.
Published October 22, 2014