Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 29, 2024

Hopkins must improve school spirit

By HARAM JOO | April 22, 2014

The Biggest Problem at Hopkins

By Haram Joo

Lately, the University has been making strides to improve the community at Hopkins. Has it been helping? Maybe, maybe not. To me, the biggest problem at Hopkins is the lack of spirit. Many would agree with me on this point. There are several reasons why Hopkins has no spirit as a school.

Hopkins only has lacrosse. This means a lot of things. Hopkins seems to be investing most of its money in lacrosse – this is with strong reference to the new Lacrosse center they have built and also a Hall of Fame building that I just noticed on my way to the Rotunda last week. I am clearly not saying that we should stop investing in Lacrosse; I am only saying that if we want to invest our money and time in Lacrosse, we need to do it the right way. Why not invest in other sports like soccer or football?

Speaking of which, Hopkins needs to spend more on building new fields so that student groups and varsity teams won’t have conflicting practice times. Exercise and sports are important for mental health, and I personally recount numerous times when I was kicked out of the field because of conflicting times. Hopkins can do better than this. Our campus should, at the very least, provide a space where anyone can practice and play sports.

The general point is that we need to invest more in other sports as well as lacrosse to diversify our athletic palette. Yes, funding for research is important. But to us undergraduates, spirit is way more important. Sometimes during the fall semesters, Hopkins can get real gloomy and dead. If we had a fall sports team that we could cheer for, collectively as a school, with tailgates, cheering squads and perhaps, organized groups to promote the students’ attendance at games, just doing this can make students feel a much stronger sense of belonging.

Another reason why Hopkins has no spirit is that students don’t feel like they belong to this group. Sometimes it just seems like everyone is doing their own thing, and once they graduate, they move on. But actually, I think it’s the other way around: once students graduate, they miss it! They miss the times at Hopkins! So why don’t you start caring while you’re still a student here? Hopkins students are so immersed in and dedicated to their studies that attendance to sports game is probably not even in their bucket list. Maybe this is partly a problem with the professors asking and expecting too much from students. But the major blame goes to the students themselves.

Last week, in my leadership theory class, I learned that in order for a group or organization to improve, they need a benchmark from which they can learn and emulate. With regards to spirit, Duke would be a good example to learn from. Duke’s Cameron Crazies are nationally renowned - and to some, nationally notorious. Some might consider the Cameron Crazies as an insanely obnoxious and annoying mob. You know what? I think it’s about time that Hopkins gets obnoxious. It’s past time we start forming mobs for cheering our sports teams, because it’s that obnoxious presence of Crazies at Duke games that makes things happen. Duke boasts a strong record of wins at its home games, and it would be an understatement to say that the Cameron Crazies played a crucial role. If we start with the lacrosse games and branch out from there, we too can have such a culture here at Hopkins.

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