I was disappointed in Valerie Lapointe’s portrayal of our lack of school spirit and Washington Guides as an organization. Through arguing that the University of Mary Washington has no school spirit, she also managed to dishonor a very credible organization on campus.
In my sophomore year, I became a Washington Guide because I had pride and spirit in what UMW had to offer current and prospective students.
Through the initial training, tour guides are given a handbook on the basic information to know and to give on a tour. However unlike the majority of other college tours, the tours at Mary Washington are unscripted. The volunteer student guides create their own dialogue with guests and prospective students. Honesty is key because we want to attract similar students that will enhance our student community.
Speaking on behalf of our “waspy” students, diversity exists outside of our percentage of minority students. Diversity is defined as having variety. UMW’s diversity should not be defined by only our minority rate, but rather the idea that of 4,000 students, we have over 125 clubs and organizations. We have fostered an accepting environment that allows for students to be a part of student government, knitting, juggling, Quidditch, athletics, improv comedy and community service, just to name a few.
Our school spirit exists similarly in our diversity. Although we are not a school that goes around singing a fight song, we are generally a group of students looking to leave a footprint on society. Why does the writer imply that school spirit can exist only at athletic games? To paraphrase my roommate during Mr. UMW, “You can see the school spirit of students in how we hooted and hollered at our fellow classmates as they made complete fools of themselves up on stage all in the name of fun.”
I can only see this writer’s attempt to discredit an organization that she is a part of as either a ploy to have an article to write or a way in demonstrating her lack of pride in her university. In either case, this writer chose the wrong university to attend.
Shannon Reily is a senior.