By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer
Originating at West Point in 1835, class rings have been an important part of the fabric of collegiate tradition for close to 200 years.
At Baylor it is no different. Students are encouraged to buy the “Official Baylor Ring,” which Baylor describes as “a tangible symbol of our university’s rich heritage, and a lifelong emblem marking your incredible achievement and uniting you with Baylor alumni of the past, present and future.”
At its inception, class rings may have been a genuine symbol of one’s accomplishments and time at a university. Now, they are now shameless attempts by universities and companies to squeeze more money out of students.
Supplied by Balfour, rings cost students upwards of $600. Balfour says they are committed to delivering “exceptional quality that lasts a lifetime and captures the special memories of student life.”
But does a student really need to spend $600 to remember and celebrate their time at college?
Adorned with Pat Neff Hall, Old Main and the Independence Pillars, the rings claim to be “an everlasting symbol of your Baylor experience and your affiliation with other members of the Baylor family.”
I would be interested to meet anyone whose Baylor experience is defined by Pat Neff Hall or the Independence Pillars. Personally, friends, football games and long hours studying at Moody are what define my Baylor experience, not a building I’ve never been inside of or old pillars I’ve only seen once.
Admittedly, it would be difficult to craft a ring that would encapsulate each and every student’s Baylor’s experience. But this proves my point. A class ring isn’t capable of being “an everlasting symbol of your Baylor experience.”
A class ring is just a ring with certain Baylor monuments inscribed in it. There is no objectivity behind it. It is, like most objects, what you make of it.
To call the “Official Baylor Ring” a “a lifelong emblem” that captures your “special memories at Baylor” is nothing more than clever advertising. And to ask students to pay $600 for it is asinine.
A better example of a tangible object that represents a student’s time at Baylor would be a Baylor line jersey or a diploma, things that Baylor does not charge an extra $600 for.
Simply put, class rings are used to make universities and ring companies more money, not provide you with a symbol of your college experiences.