Cohen: Students need to start living up to ‘Shocker Nation’ name


The Sunflower

As Wichita State athletics continues its success of national prominence, the same cannot be said about the student body that surrounds them.

Sections 116 and 117 are constantly filled with empty seats — even for men’s basketball games.

Are students too depressed about not having football playing at Cessna Stadium or do they not think watching these hard-working teams is worth their precious time?

Volleyball has gotten great support surrounding the WSU student section for their home games. Their 2,107 average home-game attendance = ranks in the top 15 nationally.

With a 16-7 record, they’re en route to a second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Simply, volleyball deserves as much support from the students as the general public.

Fraternities started “Shocker Daddy’s” for softball games to increase the support at Shocker home games. As the season got down to the wire and the Shockers won their first Missouri Valley Conference Championship in ten years, the number of students coming to the games could be counted on one hand by the final game.

The student attendance for sporting events has been completely putrid. Even for men’s basketball, there are still at least 400 student tickets that were available for last Saturday’s game against Augusta (Ga.), according to assistant athletic director Russell Wilkins.

Students complain that there’s nothing to do on campus and all there is to do is go to class, which is completely far from the truth.

While there are activities to do on campus throughout the academic year, sporting events are the most advertised.

After the 2013 Final Four run, WSU garnered more new students in the fall than K-State and KU combined according to KSHB in Kansas City. ESPN rated Koch Arena as one of the top 15 places to see a college basketball game, largely because of the support.

The fact of the matter is WSU students are too lazy to get up out of their chair and see these games in person. Whether some students are interested in sports are not, they still should come out and support their hard-working classmates.

Not only does WSU offer free student tickets to all home sporting events, Athletics also does numerous of promotional giveaways for most of the home events for volleyball and women’s basketball. This should only heighten the interest in wanted to show their support.

The fact that local high schools can get support of at least 50 students in attendance for almost all of their athletic events and WSU cannot even get 10 from the entire student body is completely despicable. If Andover high school can get ten percent of their 839 students to come to every volleyball and basketball game, why is it so difficult to get 100 students for women’s basketball and volleyball games or even fill the empty seats for men’s basketball?

Students can make excuses of having class or having other occupations during game times, but it’s really hard to believe that more than 13,000 students have that excuse. It’s not too much to take a two-hour study break and hang out with friends at a free game.

WSU students should start to support their student-athletes or the university needs to dismiss the name “Shocker Nation” for good.