Monday, October 17, 2005


Last week, the Observer published a letter to the editor in response to an editorial regarding school spirit. I thought the editorial celebrated school spirit while calling for responsibility and class, but apparently, the guy who wrote the letter thought the editorial denounced school spirit altogether.

As a Case alum and the Observer co-adviser, I have strong feelings about the matter. If I were to submit a letter to the editor, it would say something like this:

To the editor:

I'm one of those nerds referred to in Bob Niccoli's letter to the editor "School spirit should come at any cost" (October 14). I take offense to the idea that nerdiness precludes school spirit. Au contraire, mon frere! It is possible to be both a nerd *and* a rowdy superfan.

You can often spot me in the stands heartily cheering on the Case football team. But you are just as likely to find me glued to my computer, struggling mightily to get to the next level in Planarity (a highly addictive online game designed by Case student John Tantalo).

At Case, it doesn't have to be *either or* when it comes to showing school spirit and taking academics seriously - you can do both. In fact, it's most inspiring to me to learn about Case students like Santo Maimone, a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy (the "academic Heisman"). The straight-A pre-med chemistry and anthropology double major has also been recognized as a First Team All-UAA defensive back.

I tip my hat to Mr. Niccoli for wanting to improve school spirit on campus. It's wonderful to see that students like him are supporting the Spartans 110%. But sports cliches aside, let's not bash the nerds.

In his letter to the editor, Mr. Niccoli said, "Go sit in the “O” Block [sic] at an Ohio State home game and see how many “drunken idiots” you see." What is the point of comparing Case to Ohio State? As an alum of both fine institutions, I root for both schools. I would not ask Case students to model themselves after OSU undergrads in their cheering habits just as I wouldn't ask OSU students to study more. The point is that we're not Ohio State and that's perfectly fine. Case has its own unique identity and we should embrace it.

Nerdiness is beautiful. N-E-R-D. NERD! NERD! NERD!

Lisa Chiu ('93)

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