Last night I went to a student-based gathering at Boston’s House of Blues. The event was organized by the Dean of Students, Kenneth Elmore, and the Executive Director of Student Activities and Operations, John Battaglino.
I didn’t really know what the meeting was for. I received a vague but alluring invite the night before and assumed the event would be like any other university function. I biked to the House of Blues from a film editing session in COM and curiously entered the overwhelmingly behemoth venue. I was guided to the venue’s “member-only” Foundation Room where I met a bunch of other students involved in leadership roles on campus. Each student was a leader in a different group–some of them I recognized and some of them I had never seen before.
It turns out that Dean Elmore had a real reason and purpose behind the event: to help garner school spirit on campus.
Each of the students exchanged stories about their involvement and experience at Boston University. There was so much energy in the room; it was as if we had all been waiting our entire college careers to divulge our ideas and goals.
I was touched and inspired. Personally, I have been working hard at WTBU with our E-board since I got to BU. We’ve been trying to evolve the online radio station and generate a larger audience on campus by getting involved with on- and off-campus events and strengthening our ties with the administration. It’s been a slow and steady climb but I never felt such sincere hope for the station until last night.
It was the same for each student present. We talked about how WTBU could help get more people to sporting events and how “spirit leaders” like Hot Dog and Jesus play significant roles at such events. We talked about how the Student Union could get more involved with freshmen in order to strengthen the student body’s voice at an early stage. We talked about how Programming Council could work with WTBU and other organizations that are putting together music-related events (such as Sigma Alpha Mu’s Mash Bros. show this Saturday).
The basic idea was that different and diverse parts of campus should work with and support each other to encourage a more cohesive atmosphere.
It’s a disappointment when a school the size of BU has so few students attending home basketball games.
It’s frustrating when an event that a club promotes for months falls through due to lack of interest and/or support. Is there really a lack of interest or is there just no support?
Having different parts of campus work together and support each other presents a whole new set of boundaries–basically there are none.
The first event/test-run of this community effort is the men’s basketball game on November 17 at Agganis Arena. We’re currently working together to figure out how we can get student groups involved, how we can get people interested, and how we can collect support for the team. The same brainstorming and teamwork will unfold for other kinds of events on campus as well.
This is a major improvement–a major step forward. The meeting marks a new philosophy of community on campus.
Thank you, Dean Elmore. Let’s get this thing started.