By Tessa Castor for The Collegian editorial board
When we begin to value one sport, one organization or one person over another, we shouldn’t be surprised when others begin to feel forgotten.
Homecoming week began Sunday with the annual campus-wide service project. Athletic teams, honor societies and student organizations gathered in Jantz Stadium to walk together, raising money for their selected nonprofit organizations. All teams contributed to the total miles walked and money raised, 1,081 miles and $270.25, during just 40 minutes of walking.
Tuesday night’s bonfire followed the service project. Students braved the cold and walked together to the grass soccer field. Football players, softball players, Discipleship students, biology majors, you name it – they were there.
The event’s emcees engaged the crowd, asking for members of athletic teams to shout when their names were called. Hundreds of students yelled. But some didn’t, because they aren’t athletes. No service-learning teams, no student organizations, no honor societies were on the roll-call list.
Times for games for volleyball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer and football are listed on the official homecoming schedule, the poster that was emailed to students. Saturday morning, the cross country team will have a home meet. The event isn’t listed on the homecoming schedule.
Men’s and women’s soccer will play Tabor in Hillsboro this Saturday. Members of the teams will miss the parade and the coronation. No alumni will be able to watch their games following football. Could better planning have allowed these students to compete at home for homecoming?
The Campus Players Centennial Showcase Celebration isn’t on the homecoming schedule either, even though the theme is literally revolved around the organization’s 100-year anniversary.
The Collegian noticed a trend in these incidents, and we wanted to highlight it. None of these things were done on purpose. We know that.
Still, of the 719 full-time students enrolled at SC, fewer than 130 of them are football players. But homecoming is centered around the football game anyway.
This school loves football, and so do donors who contribute to the program. And why wouldn’t we? Football season is much of America’s favorite time of year. Many on the Collegian love it, too.
We don’t think it’s bad to love SC football. We think the opposite, really.
What we’re suggesting, however, is that we should work to support everyone’s sport, everyone’s activity, everyone’s passions. Everyone’s events should be on schedules, everyone’s organization names called, everyone’s events attended.
We’ve perpetuated this, too.
Every time we publish a story about a football game but not a soccer game, we show the Collegian’s priorities. Every time we publish a football slideshow but not a cross country one, we show our priorities.
Sure, we’re busy – we’re not going to cover everything equally all the time – but we consistently cover every home football game, win or lose.
Homecoming should be for everyone. The Builder Family should be too. This school may be “a school of athletes,” as we’ve heard so many students say, but it’s a school of so much more.
We are a school of academics, of scholars, of philanthropists and of artists. We are a school of writers, of actors and of leaders. We are a school that’s worth more than its sports, and it’s time we recognize that.
So, Campus Players, happy homecoming. Cross country runners, happy homecoming, Leadership students, happy homecoming. All Builders, happy homecoming. And alumni, welcome home. We hope you’re proud.