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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: Why commuters should get involved with the campus sports culture

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Cameryn Davis
(Illustration)

When students arrive at Wichita State, a good many of them settle into the dorms on campus, but most settle for driving or walking distances around the university. The most recent statistic for the percentage of commuters, or students who live off-campus at Wichita State, was 87.5% in the 2022-2023 school year. With a plethora of events and organizations to be part of, every student should be involved with something. One of the best ways for them to be involved with campus life is to attend a sporting event. 

There is a nice variety of sporting events to see at Wichita State: soccer, baseball, volleyball and even bowling, taekwondo, and disc golf. More mainstream events like basketball and volleyball have NCAA men’s and women’s teams, and more underground sports like taekwondo and disc golf are clubs. There is so much versatility in sports on campus that it would be hard not to find something to like.

After discovering the sporting opportunities out there, a commuter can try to join the sport or club or just attend the games and events. Either way, this will create a sense of community. If they are joining a sport or club, they will make new friends and acquaintances and learn a new hobby all at once. Or, if they are attending games and events, they will see what campus community is like. They will see the support the fans have for their teams, and they will want to join right in with them.

I am also a commuter, living 30 minutes away from Wichita in El Dorado, Kansas, and this is my fourth semester commuting. When I came here for my first semester, I didn’t know what to expect when I came to campus, what clubs and organizations I would join, what new people I would meet, or what games I would go to see. I became interested in seeing our men’s basketball team and have been to a handful of games. 

Through going to games, I have been able to talk with many students and faculty about our teams. It’s fascinating to hear what they have to say from the on-campus perspectives. Going to classes and attending different types of organizations and clubs, I get to hear different evaluations of our sports culture and what it does for the campus. 

I do feel a bit like an outsider since I do commute, but that’s okay. I have attended games with friends and it was fun to hear their takes on the games and how well the teams were playing. What I love especially is how laid back the teams are here, which allows the audience to come to find them instead of them having to advertise themselves too much. 

I have learned quite a bit about the campus and its sports culture in my time here. I can say that I am nothing but happy to attend this university to be a part of it all. 

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About the Contributors
Tyler Guthrie, Columnist
Tyler Guthrie is a second-year columnist with The Sunflower. He is a creative writing major with a Spanish minor from El Dorado, Kansas. Guthrie uses he/him pronouns.
Cameryn Davis, Illustrator/Designer
Cameryn Davis is an illustrator and designer for The Sunflower. She is a freshman at Wichita State University majoring in secondary English education and hopes to become TESOL certified. Davis plans to eventually teach the English language in Brazil. She uses she/her pronouns.

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