Traditions should come naturally

Editorial Board/FIUSM Staff 

More often than not we will see our peers sporting jerseys from other school teams or making the trek north to be a Seminole or Gator for the weekend. Where is this pride and commitment in our own University and tradition?

At a school where more students attend intramural games than homecoming, the Panther Growl has yet to catch on like the Gator Chomp and Tomahawk Chop. But at the very least, could students swap out their green and orange for some blue and gold?

The University’s “traditions” are scary in the least: step on the seal at the entrance of the Graham Center and risk graduation, or even worse, share a moment with your significant other on the kissing bridge and be bound together for life. And then there’s spinning that giant cube at Deuxieme Maison to pass your exams–but let’s face it, that myth is shortly extinguished after freshman orientation.

Perhaps it’s because these “traditions” are created at a table of University administrators rather than from the spontaneity of students and the community. At what point does the University accept students’ resistance to its self-imposed pride and tradition and let history run its course? Pride is not brainwashed. Tradition should not be forced.

While FIU falls a hundred years behind schools like the University of Florida and Florida State University, it tries to keep up by creating these unnatural traditions that are slow to catch on.

But it has an adverse affect on the University community. Let’s face it–these traditions feel as unnatural as they truly are. Students feel silly throwing up their Panther paws. And with less than 50 years under our belt, the University needs to realize it’s okay not to have that UF- or FSU-feel just yet. Instead of acting like something we’re not, we should enjoy the path that we are on now.

Why must the University be so quick to label tradition? This defeats the idea of tradition altogether. Like the Trail of Torch and Freshman Luau traditions–events labeled traditions after a mere 10 years. And labeled by who? The University. Not even students.

The University should relinquish its tight grip of control and allow history to take its course. Allow students and the community to find and create its own traditions. Let the students find their own roar. 

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