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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Students show school spirit through everyday actions

Last year, sixth floor Villiger, Adam Mullin’s floor as an RA, send St. Joe’s field hockey team an encouraging message. PHOTO: Luke Malanga ’20

Another St. Joe’s Spirit Day has come and gone on campus. On these days, which were created by University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., and occur on the first Friday of each month, students are encouraged to wear their St. Joe’s gear to show off a sense of school pride.

However, a large number of students on campus are not aware of the existence of these Spirit Days because of the lack of branding and advertising around campus, according to Alec Kerr ’20, the men’s basketball Hawk mascot himself. Even though students tend to forget about Spirit Days, Kerr believes that St. Joe’s students show their pride every day.

“Walking around, at least 20% of students I see are wearing some sort of St. Joe’s gear,” Kerr said. “Every St. Joe’s student in some way has school spirit just by the magis. They’re living greater. They’re making the most of what they are presented with.”

In terms of demonstrating school spirit through sports, Sam Robinson ’20, co-president of the 54th Airborne, said St. Joe’s doesn’t have the most popular sports teams compared to larger schools. However, he recalled a moment at William B. Finneran Pavilion, Villanova University’s basketball arena, where he knew the amount of fans did not matter in showing school spirit.

“We went last year and [Villanova] had a sea of hundreds of kids and we showed up with 30, sitting up all the way at the top of the rafters,” Robinson said. “We were making just as much noise as they were because that was our school spirit and that was our passion.”

Not only do St. Joe’s students show their school spirit in the amount of noise they create during basketball games, but they also display their pride through other sports as well, according to Adam Mullin ’20, president of the University Student Senate (USS).

He remembers student interaction during the Atlantic 10 Championship for the St. Joe’s field hockey team.

“I was an RA last year and some of my residents on the sixth floor put sticky notes saying, ‘We love SJU field hockey,’” Mullin said. “There are definitely people here who are spirited, but I don’t think we have as many kinds of communal expressions of that school spirit.”

Even though school spirit is typically seen as having a close relation with only sports, at St. Joe’s, Kerr and Robinson agreed that spirit revolves around much more than that. They think St. Joe’s school spirit is made up of the people that students meet and experience on campus.

“It’s something really special at a small school like this,” Robinson said. “You run into a lot of the same people throughout different days and have one thing to bond over. It’s easier to connect with them, make friends and enhance the overall experience of college.”

Julianne Cullen ’23 also said she believes that school spirit revolves around more than just sports and wearing apparel.

“St. Joe’s shows school spirit in the way that students, parents, faculty and alumni talk about through their love for the school and its community.” Cullen said. “Hawks are really passionate about St. Joe’s.”

Students will seem to remember St. Joe’s school spirit after graduation as an important memory that is different from any other school, Kerr said. He remembers that during freshman orientation, the first thing he heard about was the magis.

“At first I thought that was another sort of term that they say to lure me in, but being a senior now, I have seen it and have lived it,” Kerr said.

Even though Spirit Days are seemingly forgotten, the students at St. Joe’s, like Mullin, will never forget how school spirit and pride impact their lives and how much more spirit means than just wearing a shirt.

“There is a care for this place that alumni and others put in that we sometimes forget,” Mullin said. “I think it’s also that pride and sense of belonging that alumni and those who have worked at the university carry on with them afterwards too.”

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