Building tradition by blowing it up
It’s an interesting situation when everyone agrees on something, yet no one can agree that they agree on it.
At the most recent student elections debate a question came in from the crowd to Team Aspire’s Cathy Lin about the traditions at UVU. She had a hard time answering it and I would have, too. There are certain members in school that believe we have some tradition at UVU. Some believe that we have nothing.
They are both right.
What do we have? We have an incredibly strong tradition from our history as a trade school. We have the Bunnell Pioneer House as a reminder that we are built on the backs of pioneers.
What do we not have? “School” traditions. I have been here for nearly six years and everything that is now “tradition” has basically been put into place in that time. We have a shopping cart parade to the “True Wolverine” that may or may not have been stolen from another school.
We have been a university for four years. The traditions will not just pop up over night, and it would be crazy to think it would. However, we could build on what we do well instead of trying to replace it.
First and foremost in this problem is that we are very literally going to watch the Bunnell Pioneer House get moved in order to create the new student center. Yes, we need the space, but it will certainly be a sad day when they attempt to pick it up and the rest of it falls apart.
By “the rest of it,” I mean that students can go look at chunks that have fallen from the foundation just from the few tests and time taking its course.
Is this what the school is fine with? Just moving on? We left this building in place for 40-50 years of UVU’s existence and now we are ready to just get rid of it.
The second building block of our tradition is our trade schools. I have no problems in saying they are the best. We aren’t MIT or anything like that when it comes to engineering or aerospace technology, but for the trades which we were founded for we are the best. From fixing cars to architectural design and drafting, they are great. Have you ever heard of them? Probably not, but you should.
What do they get because of it? The same facility that has been here since the ‘60s. Meanwhile, the rest of the students are getting their second student center in 20 years.
Our culinary arts program is near the top in the nation, every year. They are the best of the best. Do you know where they are on campus? The UCCU Events Center and at a building at 661 East Timpanogos Parkway in Orem, building L. Everyone has been there, right?
As part of the program they even run a restaurant, so to speak. This year on Thursday and Friday from March 8 to April 20 the students have a menu and will prepare foods from around the world. It has been going on now for two weeks and it is the first I have heard of it this year. It has also been going on for at least the past few years, still the first I have heard of it. I will partially blame myself, but I look for things on campus pretty actively so if I don’t know of it that would mean the average student would have no clue.
We don’t have great traditions when it comes to athletics, academics or school spirit – yet.
Guess what? That’s okay.
We have only been a university for four years. We are growing in leaps and bounds and we need to accept that we can’t build our traditions overnight. But if we aren’t careful we could lose the ones we have overnight.
If one thing goes wrong while they are moving the Bunnell Pioneer House it could be gone. The cracks are forming as we speak. The traditions that are building will need to be strong in the direction UVU wants to go. Build on greatness not on fun. Build on the past instead of watching it crumble as we move on.