By Ali Schultz
If you are lucky enough to call yourself a part of the Wolf Pack there are some vital things every loyal Wolfpacker should know, but above all we are taught to hate our southern rivals at UNLV.
I think we can all agree that usually Beat UNLV Week is one of, if not the most, fun weeks at our university. School spirit is at an all time high and students tend to actually show up to the game for once.
However, this year the spirit surrounding the game wasn’t the same.
This year different University departments tried to push a more “peaceful” rivalry on campus. And with that came a few changes to the famous Beat UNLV Week.
It is tradition for students to gather in the Quad and take a picture mooning the camera and we send it to our southern neighbors. This year that tradition was broken. The University no longer holds the event. Administration wanted to keep this game more peaceful than previous UNLV games so UNR freshmen didn’t get a chance to bare it all (if you catch my drift) to kickstart the anticipated rivalry.
The Athletic department also decided it would be a good idea to implement a new way of getting gameday tickets. Instead of getting them electronically to our WolfCards, students had to wait in line to get a ticket early last Monday morning. Athletics made this new change with high hopes that the effort required to get a ticket would encourage students to actually attend the game.
Athletics, we are big kids. If we go to the game, we go to the game. But don’t push students to wake up early and wait in line to attend a football game. We are college students. We have responsibilities. I did not even get a ticket because I had class and work both times tickets were released. It is shitty to give students an ultimatum. Skip class to get a UNLV ticket? Go in late to work? I mean come on, more students went to the Wal instead of the game because of this new ticket approach.
The moon-off was a bummer, the ticket lines were a pain in the ass, but what really pissed me off was students almost not being allowed to wear our favorite “FUNLV” shirts.
The University advised students that they were not allowed to wear their favorite rivalry shirts to the game. If students attended the game in the controversial shirts they were going to be asked to turn the shirts inside out in order to enter.
Excuse me but are you freaking kidding me? When I heard of this I felt like I was being told all over again that the Wolfden was losing their liquor license.
We are college students. The shirts are a form of expression. It is entertaining and adds a fun sense of competition between the opposing schools. The university trying to ban the T-shirts is very reminiscent of high school dress code which is the last time anyone told me what I could and could not wear.
The rivalry is fun. It is competitive and at times very intense. Oftentimes there are outbreaks of fights and the crude language is never in shortage. But I think it is important to remember not any of this would be stopped if we were no longer allowed to wear shirts.
However, I’d like to think both schools have immense school spirit. As adults, we should be able to display that whichever way we choose.
Luckily the ban of the shirts was retracted and UNR released a statement saying “The University of Nevada, Reno and Intercollegiate Athletics would like to address the FUNLV and FUNR T-Shirts. As protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the shirts are a freedom of expression. Fans wearing the shirt will be allowed into the game. All fans are encouraged to make tasteful choices and exhibit good sportsmanship.”
I understand University leaders are attempting to create a more “family friendly” atmosphere, but this is a college campus. If the students that attend this university want to wear our FUNLV gear to our footballs games you damn well believe we should be allowed to do so.
Talk of banning the shirts and ending special events surrounding UNLV week is really putting a damper on what was once the University’s best week of the year. Telling students they can’t wear a certain thing or moon the southern rivals is not going to end fights or violence that occurs at the games. Students are always going to drink at the games which most of the time is what causes the violence. The mooning and the shirts are tradition. All the banning does is take away from the fun aspect of the rivalry. I mean what is next? Are we going to stop painting the cannon because it perpetuates gang violence?
The campus should realize that this is one of the most celebrated weeks of the school year on campus. It is great to see students getting involved in on-campus events and actually going to the game. Taking away aspects of the game is taking away the fun of the rivalry.
So please, UNR administration, promote peace at the game and remind students to act with respect. Have faculty members make announcements to act accordingly at the game. Encourage student leaders to reach out to students and remind them the game is all in good fun. But in doing so, don’t ruin all the fun for the students.
So next year let’s try and do it right. Let’s get students excited about the best game of the year. Bring back the moon off and wolfcard tickets. Remember that the shirts are a symbol of expression and pride in our university that promotes the fun rivalry.
And fuck you UNLV, we’re coming for you next year.
Ali Schultz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AliSchultzzz.