Where is the spirit?

Taking a closer look at IVCC culture

In the spirit of IVCC’s 90th birthday week, the IV Leader staff took a long look into IVCC’s history of education and culture in our community. This raised the question of how well IVCC is doing today to enrich its future along with the futures of all the students that attend in this anniversary year?

Some improvements have been easily noticeable like the Peter Miller CTC building which is still in its first year of opening.

It includes new flooring for the theatre, new offices for IVCC’ s student services and classrooms that apply hands on learning for many trades and skills.

Other changes are not as easy to see, like the several new position changes from deans, coaches, and teachers that take place year in and year out. Even for students in the know, it is hard to interpret how these decisions from IVCC’s administrative nucleus affect their time here and influence people to decide to become an IV Eagle.

Perhaps the best way to look at IV’s progress is through the eyes of a student weighing the pros and cons of the college to decide if it’s the right fit for them.

Tapping into the past for the reasons why we chose IVCC one or two years ago, or only a few months for some, we came up with things that impress and others that disappoint.

For many of us, the biggest reason for “why IV,” lies in the price of tuition and other student expenses. That two-year degree at IVCC can be thousands of dollars cheaper than the many universities of Illinois and surrounding states. In a time of fear for student loan debt mixed with the lack of job security, any money saved is a great thing.

The smaller costs of tuition and relatively low student population, though, also have a negative effect to our college experience. Less money means less funding all across the board. Sports and other organizations like student government, SPAMO, and the IV Leader see this effect.

Athletics can serve so much to a college. It brings opportunities for education to many people who could otherwise not afford it. Athletics also bring a connection between students, teachers, administrators, and alumni; a connection of school pride and a feeling that we are all on the same team.

Today there is a drop off in participation for some clubs, athletics, and other organizations partly due to funding reasons and simply because students do not know the opportunities these organizations hold or that they even exist. These things may not directly hurt education, but their absence can damage school spirit and the students who want to be involved, a dilemma that can hurt IVCC’s future and the future of its students.

Some things cannot change and if your main desire is to be involved in organizations and athletics that are strong and prosperous from largely populated schools, maybe IVCC is not right for you.

But where is that line drawn? I believe our student body can accomplish great things where we stand now.

Our staff got to witness the culture of the student body during IVCC’s Spirit Week, which came to a crescendo on actual Spirit Day. This event, in case you missed it, welcomes all students out to the courtyard to see the organizations offered at IVCC while getting your custom made street sign, sketched portrait, free IVCC gear, and of course a delicious smoothie and pizza.

It also gave us an opportunity to see IV’s diversity in action; students and staff of different shades coming from different times all searching to move their lives forward while still trying to capture the moment.

The IV Leader’s photo booth captured many moments of students and staff showing off their spontaneous side, proving to us just how imaginative and fun we all can be.

But as quickly as spirit grew that day, it faded just as fast back into the normal days of the IVCC student. How do we keep this spirit alive? In what ways can we strengthen the relationship between IVCC’s front office all the way down to the student body to ensure that each anniversary year can be more special than the last?

We turn these questions to you, students and staff. What do you think can improve the IVCC experience?

Tweet us ideas @IVLEADER. Too personal? Write us a blog with your opinions. Write your name on it or don’t, we don’t care. Drop it off at our office (Room 317) or post it on our website.

Because the truth is, our college experience only goes as far as WE take it.