I have seen the university change dramatically over my four years here, and I have no doubt it will continue to change for the better following my graduation in May. But the change I have seen is more related to the construction of new buildings and the continuously rising academic standards set by each incoming freshman class. There are still so many things regarding the overall attitude of the student body in which I have yet to see any improvement.
Sports, for example. We have some amazing athletes and yet very few people show up to support them. I will admit I have never been to a baseball or basketball game despite the fact that they are free, so I am part of the problem. I was a huge sports fanatic in high school since I was a cheerleader, but when I came to University of Miami, my fanaticism was completely drained by fellow students’ lack of enthusiasm. Many students would rather spend the entire time tailgating than actually watching the game. And many other students just don’t show up. I am glad we don’t have a lottery system for game tickets, but if we did, at least I’d know that the demand was high and people cared.
What about student publications? I have always read The Miami Hurricane and I have been on the Ibis yearbook staff for four years. Some people don’t even pick up their yearbook – and it’s free!
Do you want to know what else is free? The Lowe Art Museum. I’m pretty sure I’d be hard-pressed to find a student voluntarily walk into the Lowe without being forced to go for a class. It looks tiny from the outside, but the Lowe is spacious and has some great collections. Even if you don’t think you like art very much, just go because it’s free and it’s something to do. You might convert into an art history major or at least add a minor. If you want, I’ll go with you, just so you aren’t totally freaked out by doing something new.
I’m hoping that in a few years I will see Dolphin Stadium packed with student fans. I’m hoping that when I’m walking around campus, I’ll see everyone holding a copy of The Hurricane, and during yearbook distribution week, the staff will go crazy trying to haul more books out of the truck to keep up with demand. I’m also hoping there will be at least a few people waiting outside the Lowe before it opens for the day.
Our campus will be a more exciting and spirited place to be once everyone starts taking advantage of everything that is around them, and we will attract even more spirited students that want to be a part of our amazing culture of UM pride. The change can start with you, underclassmen, and it can start now.
Ashley Davidson is a senior majoring in journalism and studio art. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.