To many students, NYU has become known as a place akin to home. It is a prestigious school that students are proud to attend. Ask people about their level of contentment with attending this school, and they will tell you how happy they are to be here. They will regale you with stories of how proud they are to inhabit such a fantastic city, living out their wildest dreams. There will be no end to their praise. However, ironically, if someone were to go to an NYU-sponsored event, he or she would find relatively few students actually in attendance.
After the flurry of Welcome Week events ended, it seemed that NYU had essentially given up on engaging students to become actively involved. The endless screaming of people who looked like they were hopped up on cocaine was no longer heard throughout campus, and NYU entered a phase of relaxation. People who have already sought out clubs or teams to join have already decided how they will spend their spare time, and clubs seem satisfied with the members they currently have; no longer actively campaigning for members to join them as they had during that first week.
This lack of participation does not really stem from laziness. Students are vehemently proud of the fact that they attend NYU, but rarely will they ever be found at an NYU basketball game or Quidditch tournament. Essentially, NYU students are known for having school pride but no school spirit.
Surprisingly enough, most students are not part of clubs, sports teams or organized groups, instead choosing to dedicate their leisure time to homework, interning, socializing or some sort of illicit partying. Others who may have wanted to join a club but missed the initial opportunity may shy away from putting themselves out there because of an overarching mindset that many students share.
Nobody wants to be that loser that actually participates in events, even if it is something that he or she is really passionate about, because of the fear of the social repercussions at the hands of cold-hearted peers who honestly don’t care about their rinky-dink activities. Such ideals are the root of the lack of school spirit at NYU. People succumb to being satisfied with blending in with the hipsters because, contrary to popular belief, college is not all that different from high school; ostracism still exists for those who set themselves apart from the crowd. It may seem that being at NYU means you can be as different as you want, but the sad truth is that conformity still runs rampant. As a result, participation reaches an incredible low.
There are approximately 40,000 students attending NYU. There are probably 40,000 people who are proud of their school. There are probably but a few hundred people who have school spirit. The discrepancy is ridiculous.
A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 27 print edition. Matt Luo is a contributing columnist. Email him at [email protected]