The campus was absolutely buzzing on Saturday, Sept. 20. No, there was no controversial speaker being brought to stage, commanding the protesting attention of opposing viewers. No, there was no anticipation of a Tufts tradition — Fall Gala had passed, and pumpkins wouldn’t be placed at precarious heights for over a month. There was a buzz around campus because the Tufts football team was opening its season against Hamilton College, and students were invested in the game.
Should this be so surprising? Yes and no. It’s entirely true that Tufts is not a school known for Div. I sports or stadium-filling playoff games. In fact, it often seems as if Tufts sports — the football team included — are the subject of more mockery than they are of campus spirit. It would appear that the majority of the student body does not go out of its way to make a fuss over athletics, and one may have expected this weekend to follow suit.
But Tufts students are, in fact, school-spirited. We gather to support our friends and peers in a vast array of endeavors and accomplishments, be they academic, political or otherwise. We unite to demand and make changes for the betterment of the student body, and we sell out Burlesque and Tufts Dance Collective shows once every semester. Tufts students do, undoubtedly, recognize the hard work that their peers put into the groups, activities and productions that make Tufts University what it is.
We saw this weekend a shifting of priorities to the group that deserved the recognition of the moment, and although the intention of student support may seem less legitimate in its devotion to an oft-unrecognized recipient, it was entirely genuine in sentiment. The tone of the crowd at this past Saturday’s game was not one of fair-weather fans flocking to the stands only in an anticipation of a prideful win, but one of the camaraderie and school spirit that always exists but is often hidden. The community was unified, in this case, in support of a team that earned it. When the game came to a close, students from a diverse array of campus sub-groups and social circles rushed onto the field with shared enthusiasm, and when the Tufts Jumbos won their first football game in four years, everyone was there to support and offer the congratulation that was well deserved.