The importance of community at the university

Sporting events often provide a quick allegory for the real world. This weekend, the New Haven men’s basketball team hosted their crosstown rivals, Southern Connecticut State University, with a trip to the Northeast-10 semifinals on the line. With the schools being just three miles apart, the importance of home court advantage was obvious.

The university community came out and packed Charger Gymnasium. The collective energy of the crowd served as a true “sixth player,” helping elevate New Haven’s play and pushing them to a dominant playoff win.

While there may not necessarily be that proverbial “sixth player” in our day-to-day lives, the communal support of those in the university can go a long way towards fostering a growing and prosperous society of students.

We are a relatively small university with around 7,500 total students. However, a number of our students are doing truly impressive things in a variety of mediums. Whether it be on a field, in a lab, on paper or any other place possible, student accomplishments should be continually celebrated and supported by those on campus.

There are times where this sense of community comes apart. There are moments where it feels like groups may pull away from each other rather than recognizing that we are all students in the same place, striving to find success and a path into future careers. While differences will exist, creating communal importance for all accomplishments on campus can help give students the confidence and comfort to experiment in their field.

With that being said, it is imperative that our student body makes the effort to venture beyond their immediate circle of clubs, friends and general interests. We have the tendency to stick with what we are comfortable with and miss a lot of things going on around campus. Stepping out of our comfort zone can help drive the university forward and expand upon the already impressive work being done on campus to foster that same feeling of support that was behind the athletes on Sunday afternoon.