the JTAC

OP-ED: Do students really care about tradition?

Joseph Kamin, Editor in Chief

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Students at Tarleton State University possess an amazing amount of pride for their university. This is not simply pride in the university itself, the pride stems from many aspects of the university. Students love the faculty, the hometown feel, the school, the core values of the university and more than all, tradition.

However, this love for tradition is fickle.

If you asked a student which tradition they loved the most, it would more than likely be Homecoming week activities, not walking on the Seal, Midnight Madness, Silver Taps, Duck Camp, Purple Poo, not walking on the grass and Purple Thursdays.

There is nothing wrong with any of these traditions, in fact, some of those traditions are my personal favorite traditions. But there are scores of additional traditions that go unnoticed by students.

A perfect example would be May Fete. This was a tradition that nearly no students went to, or even cared about until Dr. Laura Boren, the Vice President of Student Affairs, proposed some changes to the event. After the changes were proposed, students were in an uproar. There was even a hashtags made on twitter to bash Boren over these proposed changes. But the fact of the matter is, no students cared about this tradition until it was going to be changed. Regardless of whether you agree with the proposed changes, it was an event that was not cared about.

Another example would be JTAC News. Next year, JTAC will be celebrating its centennial celebration. JTAC has been around for 100 years, yet a vast majority of the students could not tell you the difference between JTAC News and Texan News Service. However, if JTAC was at risk of being closed, the student body would take to twitter to voice their opinion about how the administration does not respect tradition and how they’re tyrants for removing traditions.

At least, I hope they would be vocal about JTAC. This piece isn’t about me complaining about wishing more students actually knew what JTAC was and read it. But its hypocritical for students to preach about love for tradition, while one of the oldest traditions on campus isn’t even read by a majority of the student population.

If Tarleton students truly loved traditions, they would love all traditions. They would attend May Fete, pick up a JTAC, pick up a Grassbur, Vote on the Student Body President, actually attend athletic events and vote on Mr. and Mrs. TSU.

The fact of the matter is that a majority of students do not care about all traditions. They simply care about the big popular events. If Tarleton students want to ensure that not traditions get changed or removed, Tarleton students should be proactive in supporting these traditions. If students were as vocal about other traditions as they are for walking on the grass, the traditions at Tarleton would thrive.

6 Comments

6 Responses to “OP-ED: Do students really care about tradition?”

  1. James Tindell on April 3rd, 2018 6:46 PM

    It’s been 25 years since I graduated and I still wear purple on Thursday. I am proud to be a Texan and I hope my daughters will choose to be Texans. I loved the traditions and I hope current students will continues to cherish these traditions because it’s the traditions that set us apart from others.

  2. Nancy Cranfill on April 3rd, 2018 7:18 PM

    These traditions and ones that have been added.all work together to make Tarleton what it is. Sadly younger Texans and TexAnns will never know the fun of Crusin’ the Island first nights back. And recent students I have visited with no nothing about getting their fishes signed freshman homecoming which is how many of these traditions were taught. How many current students can tell what state John T started another school in?

  3. Nancy Cranfill on April 3rd, 2018 7:19 PM

    These traditions and ones that have been added.all work together to make Tarleton what it is. Sadly younger Texans and TexAnns will never know the fun of Crusin’ the Island first nights back. And recent students I have visited with know nothing about getting their fishes signed freshman homecoming which is how many of these traditions were taught. How many current students can tell what state John T started another school in?

  4. Jordan Phillips on April 3rd, 2018 9:24 PM

    I realize this is an opinion piece, but I have a difference of opinion. I will start by stating that I am a 2011 alum and not a current student. Secondly, when I attended Tarleton the JTAC was the only source for university news other than email. I am grateful that I still have a chance to see changes and news via the JTAC Facebook page. I digress, as I should get to my opinion.
    Tarleton students are tired of administration changing the traditions of the university for convenience. One of the worst memories I have at Tarleton was watching the old dining hall demolished. One of the oldest buildings on campus. Why did we have to move purple pancakes to 11:00pm instead of 12:00am?
    You see it’s not necessarily about attending the tradition, but the respect we have for the tradition. For me it’s hoping that these things are happening as they have for years even though I am no longer there. That’s what gives me pride in knowing I graduated from Tarleton State University. I am proud of the Tarleton that I graduated from, but I don’t know if I can say the same for the current state of the university.
    On a side note, proofreading is important….

  5. Tyler Mann on April 4th, 2018 11:23 AM

    Extremely well said Jordan!!
    So many changes are being made because administration see it as benifical to growing the school and creating more revenue. Students who come and visit our school come because they get the small town homely feel of Stephenville. They come because they aren’t intemeidated by large class sizes and many come because of how much spirit and pride is shown by the faculty and students. I graduated last year and before I left some very big changes had already began. They have torn put 2 huge parking lots to build new buildings (student dorms & an engineering building) when parking is already a major issue on Tarleton’s campus. Jordan you hit the nail on the head saying “it’s not necessarily about attending the tradition, but the respect we have for them”. I know lots of students who have never been to a basketball game, but they still know when midnight madness is and how well the team is doing.
    As for Dr. Laura Boren I too have my own opinion and not a great one at that. For one it may be a little bit bias but I think to hold an administrative position at a university like ours with so much pride and love for the school, one should actually be an alumni for the university they work for. Boren’s work for change in more based on a political agenda than actually taking student opinion and taking action on the needs and wants of the current student population.
    As an alumni Cheerleader for TSU I have a lot of connections to get the latest updates on the happenings and interworkings of the University by current students committing a vast majority of their time to this university and all of its traditions.
    My first year as a cheerleader on Homecoming week we threw a party as a squad before purple pancakes. Our party had a theme and half of our squad dressed like cowboys and the other half dressed up as Native Americans or “Indians”. The had members of our squad show up to purple pancakes a little inebriated dressed as both Cowboys and Indians. The next day we were called into a meeting that informed us because of our actions we were suspended from cheering at the Homecoming Football game. A few days go by and Dr. Boren makes it a point to come and talk to us about what happened that night. This meeting was taken with a grain of salt by most after it was all said and done. We thought we were walking into a Lecture about drinking underage and all the dangers that come with it. Instead Boren made it a point to tell us how offended she was by the theme of our party and our costumes. That we were in no way being politically correct and that made us look horrible as a major spirit group of the University. This is how my opinion of Mrs. Boren was formed and I see her as laughing stock and a slap in the face for the University. We are from Texas for Pete’s Sake! Why is it that people take offence when we go and put feathers in our hair and wear war paint when wearing a cowboy hat, jeans, and a pair of boots is a costume just as much as the war paint and feathers.

  6. Tyler Mann on April 4th, 2018 12:50 PM

    Extremely well said Jordan!!
    So many changes are being made because administration see it as benifical to growing the school and creating more revenue. Students who come and visit our school come because they get the small town homely feel of Stephenville. They come because they aren’t intemeidated by large class sizes and many come because of how much spirit and pride is shown by the faculty and students. I graduated last year and before I left some very big changes had already began. They have torn put 2 huge parking lots to build new buildings (student dorms & an engineering building) when parking is already a major issue on Tarleton’s campus. Jordan you hit the nail on the head saying “it’s not necessarily about attending the tradition, but the respect we have for them”. I know lots of students who have never been to a basketball game, but they still know when midnight madness is and how well the team is doing.
    As for Dr. Laura Boren I too have my own opinion and not a great one at that. For one it may be a little bit bias but I think to hold an administrative position at a university like ours with so much pride and love for the school, one should actually be an alumni for the university they work for. Boren’s work for change in more based on a political agenda than actually taking student opinion and taking action on the needs and wants of the current student population.
    As an alumni Cheerleader for TSU I have a lot of connections to get the latest updates on the happenings and interworkings of the University by current students committing a vast majority of their time to this university and all of its traditions.
    My first year as a cheerleader on Homecoming week we threw a party as a squad before purple pancakes. Our party had a theme and half of our squad dressed like cowboys and the other half dressed up as Native Americans or “Indians”. The had members of our squad show up to purple pancakes a little inebriated dressed as both Cowboys and Indians. The next day we were called into a meeting that informed us because of our actions we were suspended from cheering at the Homecoming Football game. A few days go by and Dr. Boren makes it a point to come and talk to us about what happened that night. This meeting was taken with a grain of salt by most after it was all said and done. We thought we were walking into a Lecture about drinking underage and all the dangers that come with it. Instead Boren made it a point to tell us how offended she was by the theme of our party and our costumes. That we were in no way being politically correct and that made us look horrible as a major spirit group of the University. This is how my opinion of Mrs. Boren was formed and I see her as laughing stock and a slap in the face for the University. We are from Texas for Pete’s Sake! Why is it that people take offence when we go and put feathers in our hair and wear war paint when wearing a cowboy hat, jeans, and a pair of boots is a costume just as much as the war paint and feathers.

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