Gaucho pride. Where has it gone? Was it ever even here to begin with? Can we expect a community college campus to have school spirit at all?
Well to be honest, we here at the Lariat feel that it is a lofty dream that Saddleback College would be as spirited as its four-year counterparts.
It really isn’t a hard conclusion to come to either.
For one, we are a community college. Meaning that people hopefully will only spend two years here. Who wants to invest extra time and energy into a community when they will be forced to abandon that community in such a short period of time?
Secondly, we are a commuter school. People don’t live on campus- few even live close to campus at all. This creates an atmosphere where people come to class and leave. Sometimes if they have a break they hang out in the cafeteria or library. Saddleback College is not the place to go to hang with your friends. It isn’t really even an ideal meeting place to have a conversation with someone. Students just do not spend enough time actually on campus to have a tie to this place. They don’t have pride in their school because there is no emotional connection to it.
Lastly, when the event of the semester is a religious protestor on campus what motivation do students have to linger here? There are not enough activities or events on campus to promote an atmosphere students want to be a part of even after their class is over.
Gaucho pride may be dead, but Saddleback College inspires a different sort of pride in its students.
This pride comes not from our school’s football team upsetting a national title hopeful or being named by Playboy as the number one party school in America, but from something else entirely.
The pride students have when it comes to this campus is a pride that is earned. It is the pride of knowing that after attending class and working part time, the all-night study session earned you an ‘A’ on an exam. It’s the pride in receiving a letter from the four-year university of your choice saying that you have been accepted as a transfer student. It’s the pride earned from taking classes and learning valuable skills that will help you not only at the university level but in your career.
So yes, do not expect football games to be selling out anytime soon. Don’t expect Saddleback College to be the place to hang out during the week. Don’t expect students to start sporting college apparel and stickers. But expect that when we leave this campus there will be a distinct pride in what we were able to accomplish because of this place.