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It May Not Be Right, But is it Even Wrong?

School Spirit, Our Spirit, Rocky and Bring It On

By Dan Scolnic

Features Columnist

MIT has cheerleaders, but who are they leading? MIT has sports teams, but who’s watching them? The Coop has MIT sweatshirts, but who’s wearing them? MIT is one of the best schools in the world, but who’s proud of it?

Not many of us.

Not many of us go to nearly as many sports games at college as we did in high school. Not many of us even go to one game here at MIT. My high school basketball team was terrible; we didn’t have a guy taller than six feet, but there were still five times as many people at every game than at any MIT game.

We say that MIT sports stink; but that’s not the case. Our men’s soccer team went to the the division III elite eight this year and our men’s water polo won their tournament. We say that there were more people in high school, but we know that’s not the case. It just doesn’t make sense. So what’s the problem?

The easy answer is that we’re too busy. There are around forty sports teams, which means we’re pretty spread out. But more importantly, we don’t have time to watch squash when we have a test that’s about to squash us. But at other great schools, like Princeton, Duke or Yale, they come together for some of their teams, and they are very busy, too. For them, a sports game is an event and they treat it like we treat an Advisor’s meeting.

So the problem is deeper.

The problem is we don’t care. The most repeated expression here is “IHTFP,” so why go to one of this FP’s sports games? Knocking MIT is the culture here, and we aren’t going to support something we knock. We may complain and whine, but we’re not hypocrites.

The culture just feeds on itself. People go to sports games only to see that no one goes and then never come back. NaÏve kids who have a chance of liking the place and maybe even going to a football game are soon taught otherwise. We talk about MIT with this feeling that borders on vengeance. They took something from so we’re not going to give them anything. We have the logic of five year olds. But still, they break us. We feel MIT stole a certain happiness from us, they took something we cherished in ourselves and we’re scared its gone forever.

But it hasn’t left us. That’s even one of the painful parts; we can still feel these wishes for happiness. But we give up; we de-prioritize our happiness too quickly. Why do we say we hate this place? We hate it because we hate what it’s doing to us.

IHTF place is really our projection of IHTF person. And we just stop cheering. We stop going to our own sports games. We stop rooting for ourselves. It is not just our school spirit that dies but our own spirit. Our school spirit depends on our own spirit. If we could still cheer ourselves on, we could cheer this school on. If we could be proud of who we are then we could be proud of where we are.

So let’s remember we who we are and where we are. We are these kids going up against this monster. We are Rocky going up against MIT’s Drago. MIT is a Soviet Union backed, P-set giving, steroid-using machine.

But let’s remember that we’re in the ring. And we can win. But the most important thing is that we fight. We fight for our place in the ring. We fight for our happiness. And if we can fight for ourselves, if we can fight against what this school is doing to us then we can change this school into something worth fighting for.

What I’m trying to say is if I can change, and you can change, then we all can change.

Or better: its been brought.