Students should value UW-W traditions

Royal Purple Staff, Editorial Staff Opinion

Everyone has traditions. Everyone has a place they go to celebrate holidays, a specific way of celebrating holidays or a certain activity that their family has done for generations. Whatever they may be, traditions play a large role in many lives.

College is no stranger to tradition. Homecoming is a time-honored tradition that brings alumni back to campus to celebrate with current students the accomplishments and moments of great pride for the university throughout the years.

Although, many are beginning to slowly losing their dedication to traditions, both as a society and as a university. It seems that the current college aged generation, 18-24, as well as younger students, hold a much looser grasp on traditions that 20 or 30 years ago would have been a pinnacle point of the semester for students.

For example, when sitting around the Royal Purple newsroom, discussing this exact editorial concept, our staff attempted to name traditions, homecoming or otherwise, that we celebrate at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Sadly, there were crickets. After a few moments, there were a few mutterings about the cannon going off at football games, but no one could really think of anything else. The point is, a room with about 20 current UW-W students couldn’t really name any traditions celebrated here, which is pretty disheartening.

There could be plenty of reasons for us failing to recognize traditions. It could be society as a whole moving away from traditions, becoming more focused on the present and the future, moving at a faster pace. It could be Whitewater’s reputation as a “suitcase” college, where a vast majority of students leave campus and go home on the weekends, or our reputation as a commuter school, where many students live at home and only come to campus occasionally.

Whatever the reasons for our lack pride in traditions, the fact that we are leaving them behind is incredibly sad. Traditions hold an important place on our campus. Traditions can provide a sense of belonging for students, both during and after their time on campus.

Homecoming and the traditions that go along with it are meant to bring together current and past members of campus with the one thing we have in common—Warhawk pride. Knowing and understanding the traditions here can bring a sense of belonging. While you are a student here, it can bring you together with friends, or even just campus as a whole to celebrate our football team. When you are an alum it can bring you back together with people you may have lost contact with or whatever it may be, but the important thing is that honoring tradition on campus and continuing to practice them can serve a purpose, and today’s college students should hold onto their value.

So this year at homecoming, take some time to learn about a campus tradition, ask an alum, do some research. Hold on to those traditions, because they are something we can all share as Warhawks.