OPINION: Too cool for school?

Hardin+building%2C+MSU+Texas%2C+July+2020.

Bridget Reilly

Hardin building, MSU Texas, July 2020.

During such an unprecedented time as is the present, we have an obligation to protect our family: our Mustang Family. Whether it be through the adamant following of social distancing guidelines or by being a shoulder to lean and cry on during a period where inadequacy and anxiety can run more rampant than the virus itself. Everyone can play a part toward a collective good.

As a fraternity man, I know what it means to truly be surrounded by people who have your best interests at heart. I also know all about the importance of being available and being a good listener. Throughout my time in college, I have had friends open up to me in a variety of ways, from coming out of the closet to revealing they had written goodbyes to their loved ones in the past few days. Depression is a rotten curse. By showing a true desire to empower those around me, I believe I can be called a “friend” by almost everyone I meet. I believe I have made a difference in many lives perhaps even saving some.

I fully intend to suggest to my children later in life to consider MSU as a place to go to college. I will be a proud Mustang alumnus, but I will not say that my experience was perfect. There were far too many instances where bureaucratic red tape prevented change and direction for progress in many areas of campus life. However, as much as we can all blame the president, the Board of Regents or the faculty, we as students must also take some blame.

When I first toured MSU back in early 2017, I immediately fell in love and knew this campus would be my home for the next four years. I found the architecture breathtaking and thought the tightly-knit community, where everyone knew everyone, was truly special. Now, as I prepare to leave in May, I worry about some things I am seeing as I walk the JRP for the last few times as an undergrad.

No longer do I feel the same family-like connection from everyone I meet like I did just a few years ago. No longer do we have any pride in our campus, nor our identity. I see people not following COVID prevention guidelines. I see people littering. I see people spreading rumors and lies about others that do nothing but cause drama. I see a handful of individuals making rash decisions for the campus that affect the masses. I see more hate and divide than I ever thought I would.

Is this the Mustang experience? Is this the Mustang way?

We need to look back only a few years to find real pride and real school spirit at MSU. Football games were sellouts. The Mustang Maniacs were in full force. Whatever happened to them? There are 2A high school games with louder student sections than ours. There were days where organizations would host events together and promote one another rather than attacking their peers on Twitter. Incoming freshmen were excited to take part in all the campus traditions. I remember Roundup and Stampede Week events being standing-room-only. I remember panicking trying to find a T-shirt to exchange before the bonfire, going from store to store with no luck as they had all already been purchased by my fellow students. I remember the excitement of visiting the lights and the frantic frenzy that was finals. Now things have changed. “Oh well, it’s just another school event.”

The magic of the dome, the subtle wide-berth given to the seal are things of the past. And for what reason?

Are we all too cool for these traditions now?