I see it almost every day. Walking around campus, there is always someone wearing a T-shirt, sweatshirt or hat that sports another university’s logo. Some of my friends and I have made a game out of spotting them because they’re so common.
It is understandable that people have connections to other universities. A large percentage of Baylor students come from Texas, which happens to have a plethora of universities with proud athletic departments and alumni bases. However, just because you have connections to another school doesn’t mean you don’t need to rep your own school once in a while.
We live in a country that teaches you to pledge allegiance to everything you support, whether that’s the country itself, a university, a sports team, a church, a favorite politician, etc. We’re raised to have pride about where we are from and what that place represents. I grew up in Kansas, where you either rep the Jayhawks on game day during basketball season or face being a social pariah. I attended high school in Louisiana, where the same rule applied to the LSU Tigers during football season. Even people who attend Louisiana Tech and University of Louisiana-Monroe root for the Tigers on the gridiron and usually own a good amount of LSU garb.
Yet there’s a difference between having a rooted interest in a certain sports team and being proud of the university you attend and plan to graduate from.
All current students chose to come to Waco for some reason. Whether it is for academics, athletics, the Christian environment or maybe even just proximity, there is no shortage of reasons to be proud of Baylor.
There is even a website, BaylorProud, dedicated to telling the world why students and alumni are proud of this university by sharing stories about the great accomplishments of Baylor and the people associated with it.
Baylor has long been known as an outstanding academic institution. With undergraduate programs consistently ranked nationally and an impeccable job placement rate, Baylor was once again named a “Best College Value” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
Baylor athletics is currently the best it’s ever been. Our football team has made seven straight bowl games, winning four of them. Both of our basketball teams are top five and in contention for a Big 12 championship. Our baseball team has new energy under Coach Steve Rodriguez and looks to make a turnaround. Acrobatics and tumbling has won back-to-back national championships. Other programs such as tennis, golf and track and field continue to have sustained success.
There are plenty of other reasons to be proud of your university, but students should not need that reaffirmation. Every has their own reasons for being in Waco and having pride for Baylor, and should not need reminding of what makes Baylor a special place.
One of the ways that we as students can express our pride in this university is simply by wearing Baylor apparel. People notice. So, next time you think about wearing that Michigan, Duke or Texas T-shirt to class, just remember where you are and what this place means to you.