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WSU Student Morale: How Involvement Affects Raider Pride

Fall Festival at Wright State's campus

Fall Festival | Photo by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian

Involved commuter and residential students alike find that involvement makes them more likely to have higher student morale.

Involvement and morale

According to Oxford Languages, morale is “the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time.” 

Whether students join an organization or go to in-person events, feeling a connection and getting involved helps students feel positive about their Wright State experience. Izzy Rice is one of such students, serving as the Director of April Craze for the University Activities Board.

“I think it’s my position in UAB, but I can honestly think it extends it [morale]. I like to get pretty involved on campus and have that school spirit,” Rice said.

According to State, “Extracurricular activities provide a setting to become involved and interact with other students, thus leading to increased learning and enhanced development.” 

Popular choices to get involved include service organizations and student government. Joseph Marano serves as president of Engineers Without Borders and the Director of Student Affairs for SGA.

“I’d say so [feeling connected], especially with Engineers Without Borders. We do different projects, local projects with members on campus. I know in particular, we work with the theater groups, and we do set design for them, making sure they have things to use as props and stuff like that, which, at least personally, that’s a side of Wright State I wouldn’t be able to interact with otherwise,” Marano said.

According to John Hopkins, interacting with others can help boost a person’s mood. This is especially important because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced sophomores like Izzy Rice into spending their first year of university online with no outlets to increase morale through involvement in organizations or events.

“I think that not having our sports seasons last year and not having any events really on campus killed it [morale], especially for the incoming students because it is a smaller campus and so we kind of rely on these events,” Rice said.

Noticeable events being the absence of April Craze starting in 2020 and the various smaller events put on by clubs and organizations unable to meet during the pandemic.

Courtney Laukitis, program manager of Student Organizations in the office of Student Involvement and Leadership explained how the lack of attending campus events can affect student morale.

“The senior class started in Fall 2018 and understands some of the typical events and experiences that happen on campus. I’m thinking of big events like Fall Fest, April Craze, Raiderthon, etc. Now think about our junior class who has yet to see a full spring semester. It’s hard for people to get excited about something that they know nothing about. It’s hard for people to prioritize events and campus experiences when they don’t have a transition to understand how fun those experiences can be,” said Laukitis. “In addition to these major events and organizations, there are other various contributing factors to student morale.

Other influences

Nursing major Lauren Onianwa finds that in addition to her love of university sports, her residential status is a top contributor to her having high student morale.

“Being on campus all the time I have more opportunities to go to events unlike commuter students so I tend to attend events more often and so that creates more pride in my school,” Onianwa said.

Multiple students report another common sources of raider pride is the school’s sports team, particularly WSU’s basketball team which went to NCAA March Madness for the second time ever in the school’s history.

“Sports are essential to having a fun time at college and for making memories. Sports allow students to have a positive view on their time at college, the school spirit that is developed around sports instigates people to continue to come back to their college and to donate to it,” according to Penn State University.

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