If you spent even part of your high school career in Texas, you know that our schools take great pride in one thing – the football team. From August to December, nothing else seems to matter as the entire school comes together in support of the team. School spirit becomes a requirement of sorts, allowing for fun during a school week.
If you haven’t noticed yet, UT Dallas does not have a football team. Our big sports are soccer and basketball, and our pride and joy is the UT Dallas Chess Team. If you look around campus though, there is a general lack of school spirit that is tragic when you look to other universities.
“Hook ‘Em Horns” and “Gig ‘Em” are battle cries and mottos of two of the most well known Texas universities in the nation, but they serve a much larger purpose. These phrases, as well as other forms of school spirit, unify both current students and alumni into a family of sorts. People say that an Aggie will go out of their way to help any person who wears their Aggie class ring. This important bonding begs the question of why UT Dallas doesn’t exhibit a similar level of spirit.
Our trademark celebratory gesture isn’t a thumbs-up or a Longhorn hand sign, it is so much better. The WHOOSH is by far superior to any sort of gesture that other universities have, so why don’t we use it more?
In my first semester here at UT Dallas, I found myself WHOOSH-ing to everything – getting an A+ on my Rhetoric Essay, Chicken Fried Steak day at the Dining Hall, and, most importantly, celebrating the successes of my friends and classmates.
I quickly found that, at least among my friends, WHOOSH-ing was almost taboo. Nobody could understand or fathom why I enjoyed it, and would groan in protest any time I WHOOSH-ed outside of the confines of our dorm.
As the Class of 2017, I think it should be our mission to WHOOSH more. It doesn’t take much effort, is a great way to congratulate others, and is generally fun to do.
Since we don’t have pep rallies celebrating our non-existent football team, we must ensure that we don’t lose out on the fantastic opportunities to show school spirit and bond as a community. We are no longer individuals, or classes, or schools of study. We are UT Dallas, and we are one.
Next time you are unsure, and ask yourself “To WHOOSH or not to WHOOSH?” There is a very clear answer. Always whoosh, because you never know who might appreciate you and who might recognize you ten years from now. Allow the school pride to take over every once in awhile and let our bond as a UT Dallas family grow.