Keeping NYU’s Spirit Alive

Tianne Johnson
Various pieces of NYU merchandise from the NYU Bookstore.

It’s no secret that NYU offers a unique college experience. After all, we are in and of the city with school buildings scattered throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Unfortunately, due to the dispersed layout of our “campus” and a lack of the hallmarks of college, like a football team, many students have accepted how little spirit there is.

NYU’s lack of school spirit was evident during Spirit Week, which started on Feb. 18. Despite its well-organized events, many students didn’t care to show up or participate.

Gallatin first-year Serena Shen said she doesn’t mind the lack of participation and school spirit. She feels that her college experience has been fulfilling without the traditions and characteristics of some other big universities.

“Since we don’t have a football team, I don’t really think it matters if we’re spirited or not,” Shen said. “Even though school spirit and sports are part of the ‘American university experience,’ I actually like that NYU doesn’t participate in that.”

On the other hand, CAS first-year Natalie Munda believes there is spirit at NYU — it just manifests itself in different ways. She has noticed it among various groups and inner circles on campus, but wishes it was expressed more unanimously throughout the school.

“We have school spirit, but when do we show it?” Munda said. “Where and how do we express it? I would like to see more school spirit on campus.”

Although many students feel underwhelmed by NYU’s spirit, student organizations continue to encourage school pride through activities and events.

Every year, the All-University Events Committee hosts the official Violet 100: NYU Spirit Week, which features numerous activities each day of the week. This year, Spirit Week consisted of the All-University Games at Chelsea Piers, the annual UltraViolet Live talent show, a TedxNYU event and Violet Ball, to name a few.

CAS senior Amanda Regalado, chair of the All-University Events Committee of the Student Government Assembly, participated in her fourth year of helping coordinate Spirit Week. One of the biggest challenges Regalado faces in this position is hyping up the students for events like Violet 100.

“Spirit at NYU looks different than other college campuses,” Regalado said. “[Students] don’t paint their stomachs violet or sing the alma mater [song]. Violet 100 gives NYU students an opportunity to change that and be spirited, even if it is just for the week.”

According to Regalado, Violet 100 is SGA’s biggest job of the year. This year, 300 people attended the All-U Games and 1000 people attended the Violet Ball. With every round of Violet 100, the All-U Committee takes on the task of finding ways to garner excitement.

“Some things we do to boost excitement include handing out swag and ticket giveaways,” Regalado said.

Events like Violet 100 are necessary for keeping our school spirit — even if sparse — alive. Students like Regalado make increasing school spirit their priority. Violet 100 will continue to build community and allow students to join as one.

“Just because NYU spirit looks different than it looks at other schools, doesn’t mean NYU lacks spirit,” Regalado said. “The high participation in each of our events proves the NYU community [can] rally together.”

 

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 5 print edition. Email Tianne Johnson [email protected]

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