When ARC’s undefeated football team took to the field Oct. 19, they did so before a reprehensibly small crowd. Of approximately 350 spectators in attendance, more than 70 were there to see the opposing team. Last spring’s Student Senate elections only garnered 950 participants. Sadly, this was a dramatic improvement from 175 in 2012.
In a campus of over 38,000 students, such relentless apathy is an embarrassment to students, staff and the institution as a whole.
Right now, ARC is home to five teams ranked among California’s top 10 (men’s football, men’s cross country, women’s volleyball, men’s soccer and women’s water polo.) Each of these teams receives lackluster support from their peers.
Though community college should not be a peak, destination or end goal for young people, students need to be active participants and take more pride in their campus.
While sports may be considered frivolous, students shun opportunities to take advantage of more essential recourses.
“Usually… three to four people (come to resume development workshops) sometimes it can be 10,” said Irena Brauzman of ARC’s Career Center.
College is often a young adult’s first access to the professional world. Networking becomes important and relationships take on tremendous value. Minimal participation in student activities denies an opportunity to celebrate common interests, develop relationships and build social and professional networks that will hold value long after transfer or graduation.
Some students feel that this is simply not the place for high school-esque enthusiasm.
“It’s not like high school anymore, where you are like ‘Oh, let’s have fun,’ you have to take it (school) more seriously,” ARC student Janae Billingsley said.
School should be taken seriously so that it may provide opportunities. Celebration of predecessors who have capitalized on such opportunities and the culture that fostered their growth can be a powerful tool.
It’s a tool ARC head baseball coach Doug Jumlet uses to show his players their potential. Several MLB players – who played at ARC – visit practices and team activities to encourage and support the Beavers.
Athletes, club members and other students should make traditions such as these more commonplace on campus. ARC alumni need to take part in the process as well.
If ARC is nothing more than a commuter campus devoid of any character or culture for its students to participate or take pride in, that is a fault of its students, former and current alike.
Make time to support our sports clubs, see a production by our theater department, read the American River Review. If our own student body does not take pride in the community that is our school, why should the places we aspire to move on to?