Battle of Lexington needs support from Baruch students

CUNY students often gripe about the woes of attending a commuter school, as opposed to something more traditional. The more naive among us come into college expecting the same kind of atmosphere depicted in films and on television--a vast expanse of a campus situated on rolling hills, where students can spread picnic blankets on the quad. Our reality is different than this idealized notion of college life. Students tend to fall in one of two camps--those who want to make the most of their experience in spite of the inherent disadvantages of attending a commuter school, and those who cannot be bothered.

That is to say, a good number of us make valiant efforts to be involved on-campus and to create a welcoming environment for those who seek it out. These efforts are always supported in some way by the administration. In other words, there exists both a desire for, and a practical manifestation of, student life.

The problem then becomes getting more people involved. It is one thing to have the same group of people seek out engagement continuously, but it is an entirely different thing to attract new people and keep them interested. This is a fundamental issue that all student organizations struggle with; offering free food only gets you so far.

Welcome Week, USG’s weeklong initiative to help students old and new acclimate to the new semester, is a good example of a student-driven, time-sensitive effort to engage people. Transfer students are a prime target, as well as returning students who just need that daily dose of positivity within the chaos that is the first week of classes. Welcome Week culminated in Spike Fest, during which the men’s volleyball team played against New York University.

Battle of Lexington, the major sporting event of the year, is another exhibition of school pride. This year, the men’s and women’s basketball teams are going up against the Brooklyn College Bulldogs. Teams of students register in advance and compete to show off their “Baruch spirit, Baruch pride, and tons of originality.” Battle of Lex is not only a sporting event, but a fan contest meant to generate as much hype as possible. This year, the prizes for the winning teams are an escape the room package, a Baruch gear gift basket, and weekly unlimited Metrocards.

The problem is exactly that--students who feign interest in Welcome Week and Battle of Lex do so primarily because they get something in return. Getting people to care is difficult, but that begs the question--do we lack that community feeling because we go to a commuter school or because we do not care enough to really try? What we are left to deal with is that vicious cycle.