Al Talks Art: There are different kinds of school pride

I’m not going to the Homecoming Game, or the Homecoming Dance. It’s nothing personal; it’s just that I live in Salt Lake, and I work, and that doesn’t leave time for masquerades and 70-6 rivalry blowouts. I can count on one hand the number of athletic events I’ve been to, and most of them not by choice. I come to class, I do my work, and then I go back to work, or school, or writing, or choir, or any of the other things a student juggles.

That seems ugly when you read it. Almost as if I’m in some sort of collegiate confessional. Maybe I should have started with “forgive me, Waldo, for I have sinned,” and then take a half dozen Hail Lillards to balm the iniquitous blight of my commuter-student status.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Weber State. I love the opportunities I’ve had here. We have wonderful professors, gifted staff and bright students, but we are not a traditional school. Statistically, the majority of our student body are nontraditional attendees, and more than that are commuters. I have nothing against those who live within blocks of the school and attend parties and paint themselves purple and live figuratively or literally on campus. But most of us don’t. So I propose that we stop pretending we do.

Dances, games, events and the cocktail of sociability that comes with college are wonderful, but sometimes I feel as though people who aren’t drinking from that same glass are viewed as less than those who have pledged themselves into the traditional student life, and therefore are not worthy to be in the same echelon as the WSUSA diehards, or the growing Greek population, or even ministerial InterVarsity Christian Fellowship or LDS Institute zealots.

I am not involved as much as others. I sing, I write, I attend class, and then I go home. But I believe I speak for a quiet majority who love Weber State, and don’t show their love in traditional ways.

I speak for the mom enrolling to finish an education degree in hopes of finding security in the dark financial night.

I speak for the apathetic 20-something who loves their classes and actively chose a program here, but isn’t ready to drink the purple Kool-Aid.

I speak for young married couples everywhere who replace Netflix bonding for sleep after an exhausting day of work, then school, then work again.

There are lots of kinds of students here. And they all love Weber State, even if they aren’t banging on trash cans to show it.

In this, the most patriotic week of the academic year, let us all show our school pride however we see fit. For we are the Wildcats, scratching and snarling, but we want to win more than just this game. We want to win at life. Weber State extends that opportunity to those who wouldn’t have it otherwise, and that’s something I can rally behind.

Go, Wildcats! Go do whatever you came here to do, and let that define your collegiate loyalty to this epoch of academic challenge and open enrollment humanitarianism.

For we are Weber State, Weber State, great, great, great!