Why nobody’s coming to your games

Take this for what it’s worth:

Today in the gym I asked a professor what percentage of faculty members he thought lived in and around Fredonia. He said a good majority live locally, but also that when you look at staff members, as many as 90% live semi-locally, 20 miles away at most. He wondered why I’d ask.

I asked because I wondered if many faculty and staff had moved far away from campus, further towards Buffalo. It could be a reason that fewer faculty and staff come to athletic events than they used to.

He responded bluntly: “No, that’s not the reason. We just don’t care.”

I joke with athletes here that I don’t care about sports. I don’t watch them on TV anymore, I don’t follow them online, and my mood on Sunday isn’t dictated by the result of a football game. I go to a lot of athletic events on campus because I know a lot of the athletes, and I happen to care about them a lot.

If I knew a lot of theatre students, I’d go to a lot theatre productions. I just don’t know very many.

The professor told me about his solution: one day each week he takes the first two minutes of class for student announcements. The students tell everyone in the class what events they’re participating in that week. If the professor has time, he goes to an event or two. Not because he cares about the event, but because he cares about the student.

A simple solution to a not-so-complicated problem.


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