The struggle of bringing the birdcage on the road
Students at Fresno Pacific University as well as student athletes are being deprived of one of the greatest community experiences that college has to offer: student sections. Earlier this year we talked about not having fans in the stands but just recently we had an opportunity that would’ve given our Women’s Basketball team support at the PacWest Tournament.
There was a bus scheduled to take a set of fans to the tournament for a day trip and it was canceled. While yes, it was during midterm break and many were off campus, many students still remained on campus that could’ve filled seats. The mentality with coaches is, “if we win, they will come” but that doesn’t seem to be the case at FPU.
The benefits that we have compared to a big school is that the players on the court are ones that we would have multiple classes with and create relationships with. At huge schools, you might only know the athlete by what you see on the screen and might only have had one class with them. FPU gives students the chance to connect with its athletes and have more than just fans in the stands.
Not only do the students get to be apart of the experience for the athletes but the professors do as well. Professors going to games means a lot to the athletes; everyone is pretty excited anytime they see Professor Q at a sporting event. So why would we deprive our athletes of the experience of taking their friends to watch them play?
The answer in the past has been “lack of interest” but if we deny even the possibility of going, then we will never gain the interest.
The trip was initially planned because the Women’s Basketball team made the tournament which means that there was a special occasion to go and support. Why is this service not sponsored regularly so that we could have continuous support for our athletes?
Student Life does a great job of creating a community for those that live on campus but one of the biggest parts of our community is sports. Especially in a college community, student sections are almost a right of passage for a college experience