Pathetic or Loyal? Is it okay to wear gear from other schools on campus?

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If you follow any of the Twitter feeds of UVU you’d see a lot of hate thrown at students who wear apparel from colleges that aren’t UVU, particularly students who wear BYU or U of U gear. The gist of these social media posts is that it’s pathetic to wear BYU or U of U apparel here at UVU, and that you should show some school pride by wearing UVU gear only. I’m writing this to say that you can wear BYU, U of U, or any other college for that matter, and still have all the pride in the world that you’re a Wolverine of Utah Valley.

I, like a lot of students at UVU, was born and raised in Utah. In fact, I was born and raised in the real O.C., Orem City (props to you if you get that joke). I grew up going to sporting events at that one school in Provo, BYU. I would go to football, basketball, and soccer games with my grandparents, my dad, friends, dates, etc. A lot of people who grew up in Utah closer to Salt Lake City did the same thing at the University of Utah’s sporting events. I’m aware some people in Utah County support the U of U and some in Salt Lake County support BYU, but just go with it for the example I’m using.

We have memories of going to these events and supporting the teams we love. One of the best memories I have was being at Rice Eccles Stadium for the Holy War between the football teams of Utah and BYU in November of 2006. To be able to celebrate in a sea of red fans by winning on the literal last play of the game was amazing. Supporters of the University of Utah love gloating over BYU fans that they’ve won the last four meetings in a row dating back to 2010-2013. You know what’s missing in this picture? Any mention of Utah Valley University.

The point I’m trying to make is there aren’t that many people who grew up going to UVU games. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who can name someone from the UVU basketball team within the last fifteen years besides Ryan Toolson and Ronnie Price. It’s not as embedded into the Utah community as the U of U and BYU are. That’s changing, though, faster than ever. I attended the UVU vs BYU basketball game this year. I wore green, cheered with the other green-clad Wolverines in our section up in the nosebleeds the entire game, even when we were down by 30. I was so proud to be able to go into BYU and wear green and support UVU. That being said, when Gonzaga comes to Provo to play BYU in the February of 2016, I will be wearing blue and hoping the Cougars will win.

So the next time you see someone wearing U of U or BYU apparel on campus at UVU, don’t judge. Some of them didn’t even apply to those schools and knew they were always going to be a Wolverine (open enrollment baby!) Some of them bleed green just as much as you and have an enormous amount of pride attending UVU because of the great professors, staff, campus, and student body. But if you see someone wearing purple Weber State gear or Utah State apparel, go ahead and razz them all you want because that IS pathetic.