Focus on school rivalry needs to transform

Editorial Board

Issue: USD’s college newspaper recently wrote an editorial saying that the SDSU/USD rivalry needs to be ramped up.

Before the SDSU vs. USD football game that took place on Nov. 16, USD student newspaper The Volante wrote an editorial stating that the rivalry has been forgotten. It read that “renewing the rivalry and starting a new era of Hate State is essential to the heart of the university.”

To that we respond: How pathetic. 

Walking around campus, you’ll see your fair share of “Screw the U—Go Back to D2” shirts on the backs of our student body. However, if you were to buy one, you would have to find it on social media or through friends. At USD, if you wanted a “Hate State” shirt you would just have to walk into the bookstore and grab one. This shows that our bookstore doesn’t enable this barbaric competition by allowing us to buy shirts that are defamatory to another institution in earnest.

We feel that having a humble competition is healthy and okay, but it should just stay on the field. Creating a campus culture of hating another institution isn’t really something we strive for at SDSU. It isn’t something we genuinely want to be our prime accomplishment.

These rival games are known for their ridiculousness. In years past, both SDSU and USD have taken the carcasses of their respective mascot animals and thrown them on fields and courts during games. Aren’t there any other alternatives to competition that don’t involve the flight of dead animals? Doesn’t the stale-noble-conquer-all idea of our team is better than your team suffice? The Volante claims, “at least some sort of fire should be ignited for games like this.” But don’t we already have enough of a fire now? The on going banter on social media and discussion amongst students before and during the game seems enough. Students from both schools kill animals and mock the other school every year. That’s pretty much an idea unique to South Dakota, too. 

Competition is human nature. We want to be competitive and better than something else. This is fine, however we need to stay focused and attentive to other issues, and if this one starts to die out, so be it. 

Maybe we feel this way because it’s not all about USD anymore for an SDSU rivalry. Jackrabbit fans hate NDSU quite a bit, too. It’s never going to replace USD but it’s firmly No. 2. 

The most common thoughts and emotions that populate the average student body today shouldn’t be about “Hating State,” or “Screwing the U.” 

SDSU and USD are not the only two schools that have a heated rivalry. The University of Oregon and Oregon State also have an extremely heated rivalry that they call “The Civil War,” but that’s not all the Ducks and Beavers are thinking about. Michigan and Ohio State don’t particularly like each other but they’ve got a lot more going on than a football game or a couple basketball games. A competition between any two schools shouldn’t be held as high as The Volante thinks it should be. Competition shouldn’t be the star higher education institutions revolve around.

The Volante writes that their “Hate State” campaign is a tradition and brings them together. The beauty about tradition is that you can create your own; and maybe the older methods of rivalry are long gone, and the creation of a new rivalry, something different, maybe less shallow is needed. 

Stance: We believe that competition is healthy and fine, and it shouldn’t be a major focus of the student body.