Throughout the course of the year I have read many articles about the lack of school spirit at UCSD. From recent articles about the poor amount of support for school teams, to others about the lack of student involvement and organization, the student body has been accused of basically not caring. Well, I would like to address this claim by issuing a claim of my own: The perpetrator of this crime is UCSD itself.
Take a look around the campus and discover the truth: The student body is separated into groups in order to keep it from organizing. A look into the history of the UC system will reveal a ploy to keep the student body from coming together.
When the land was originally bought from the government at the time of the founding of this campus, the other two UC campuses, Los Angeles and Berkeley, had just gone through a major period of student organization-led protest movements. Thus came the development of the college system at UCSD, a way to keep student protests and organization to a minimum.
Students are separated so as to minimize protest and keep the students from organizing (I mean, come on, how many of us have actually been to ERC?). Notice the blandness of the buildings, especially at Muir, where they look so similar. This form of control is also evident in the Price Center, with certain strategic entrances that can be easily blocked off in the event of student protest, and which is cleverly positioned right next to the police station. Walk around campus and try to find places to sit down with some of your friends; benches are few and far between, as the only time people are really willing to sit on the cement in the Price Center and listen is when Brother Jed is condemning us all to the fires of hell.
While the people in charge will push all the benefits of the college system, like a small-college feel at a big university, they fail to mention the lack of all-campus involvement that the system creates. People do not get up for the basketball games, painting their faces and filling the stands, because they are not unified. Events such as the Un-Olympics can draw the whole school together because they bring the colleges together, but to say that we are unified under UCSD is quite difficult when we all feel so separated from those who are not at the same college.
As the creation and development of Sixth College begins, I ask people to take a moment and reflect on the system that has developed over the years. The colleges have their advantages, the closeness they create, the individual attention. But expecting an entire university, already divided, to come together and cheer as one at a Division II sporting event, is a lot to expect.
Take my words any way you want: as the rantings of a mad man who, perhaps, has had too much time to think since the end of finals, or words that implicate a system set up to divide people in order to weaken student organization.
The choice is ours in the end — we can fall victim to the separation, or we can rise above it and unite, taking pride not only in our colleges, but in our university as a whole, together as Tritons.
— John Lobato