Nov 282011
Authors: Tim Brogden

Oklahoma University: a school filled with pride, tradition, history and top-ranked sports teams. After a weekend visit to the distinguished university in Norman, Oklahoma, and seeing the intense amount of students wearing OU gear, exuding pride from their crimson clothes, I found myself asking a very surface level question: why doesn’t CSU feel like this?

The argument may be “they have more history” (even though CSU was established 20 years prior) or “CSU sports suck” (they don’t suck, they just aren’t as good), but in reality, these things aren’t relevant when it comes to asking why CSU doesn’t feel like OU.

Maybe it’s because the average student is focused on the negative things surrounding CSU like higher education funding, no free printing, the football team’s record, trees falling on students or all of the construction on campus (which is actually a really, really good thing), and they are missing the majority of amazing things this campus and the city that harbors it has to offer.

Maybe the average students are extremely focused on getting their degree and then getting into the real world, which is fine, but that’s not what college is about, especially here at CSU. So then, what should it mean to be a CSU Ram?

The things I’m about to cover encompass a fraction of the reasons you, as a student, should feel a strong connection to CSU, especially after you graduate, and reflect on the experiences you had here at our nationally recognized institution. Students should be able to say “I don’t care if the football team’s record isn’t great, I’m going to the game no matter what, and I’m probably not going to have a voice after.”

It should mean that students know how and why CSU was established –– to serve the state of Colorado and create upstanding people who are prideful in their alma mater. It means being involved in one of the 382 student organizations to enrich your student experience, as well as the experience of the others around you.

It should mean appreciating what students in ASCSU, SLiCE, student media, ASAP and the countless others do for you as they take on 15-credit classloads and still provide our institution with entertainment, programs, alternative spring breaks and so fourth.

It means knowing tidbits of information about our historically rich institution, like our founding year, 1870, that we are currently on our 22nd CAM the Ram or that CSU was Colorado’s first land grant institution.

It’s being appreciative of the fact we have a university president who loves to talk to students about baseball (although most of the time about the wrong NL team) or how prepared we are when more cuts hit the state’s higher education budget with them. Students should feel connected to our Fort Collins community –– whether the experiences range from student teaching at a local school to enjoying Old Town’s nightlife, Fort Collins is one of the best cities in America, period.

The phrases “For-Ever-Green” and “Get Your Green On” shouldn’t represent freshmen t-shirts or surround only athletics, but rather, they should connect you to every student and alumni into a solid grove of green, uniting people behind everything CSU does and is because we are Colorado State University. When you graduate, you should want to flash your degree around and shout “I graduated from CSU, and I’m so happy I didn’t go to CU!”

CSU isn’t OU –– the community, the students and the atmosphere are completely different –– and during my visit never once did I think to myself, “I want to go here” (although, it would be cool to go to a stadium on campus that seats 82,000 people). I love CSU with all my heart and I hope after reading this, you scrape away all of the minor complaints you have about our institution, and realize what an honor it is to go to school at Colorado State University.

Tim Brogden is the ASCSU Director of Student Services.

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