Changing the Culture

College is a time where you take a look at your own life, and everything that has gone on in the last 16-19 years before jumping into a whole new beautiful environment.  Similar to being in a middle school or high school, the culture of a college is similar in that you have the sports teams, the orchestra/marching band, theater & fine arts, and many other groups/organizations as well that students can take part in.  While there are many student organizations available on campus, there is a lot of opportunity that reaches outside of the college campus.  Indiana University is lucky to be in such a unique town like Bloomington because there is everything here.  Anyone who is looking to come to school at IU, you will definitely belong here.  There are organizations for everyone to find a home in outside the world of academia.

Being heavily involved in the IU Athletics Department, it cut down on my potential to take part in many student organizations at school based on the amount of time I put into school and work as well.  This year I was able to attend the annual fair held at the Indiana Memorial Union promoting multiple student organizations on campus.  Being that I had the blinders forced on me to many time-consuming activities, it makes me wish I had more time for these organizations.  Looking back at the past four years of college, however, I wouldn't change one thing that has happened because there's no point in regrets.  What happened in the past has already happened and it doesn't carry that significance forever.

Something many students hold in common that stay involved in on-campus is the men's basketball program.  Since I was a freshman (also HC Tom Crean's inaugural season), the culture of the program has taken a turn for the better each year.  In the 2008-09 season, you could find tickets in the balcony for $5/seat; talk about a bargain!  That season the team won a total of 7 games in a 30 game season.  So far this season, the Hoosiers have amassed 23 wins and 6 losses thus far including victories over three of the nation's top 5 teams.  Between the 2008-09 and 2011-12 seasons, tickets are becoming more and more difficult to come by because more and more fans are flocking from across campus and all over the state of Indiana to continue supporting this incredible pasttime.  One of my favorite moments from attending a basketball game came during the 2010-11 season when IU hosted #23 Illinois.  At that point in Coach Crean's career, IU had not seen a victory over a top-25 opponent to date.  The Hoosiers led by 3 points with less than 3 seconds left in the game.  Illinois entered the ball and attempted a desperate 3-point shot to tie the game up.  When the shot banked off the back rim onto the floor, Assembly Hall erupted like I had never experienced before.  Students rushed the floor, people were cheering, and Coach Crean came out in the lobby of Assembly Hall after the game ended to celebrate with the fans.  This is arguably my favorite moment that I've seen first-hand, sorry Christian Watford for not including your famous shot from this season but the game was sold out!

The culture on campus is much different with the basketball team being the most successful it has been since the Kelvin Sampson era.  I'm sad that I won't be at Indiana as a student while the movement to improve the program really takes off in the next season or two, but to see how the program has taken off in the past few years to being back in the national spotlight says a lot for the effort put in by the players and coaches as well as the support it receives from the campus community.  An NCAA Tournament appearance is imminent in less than 10 days for IU, and I can't wait to see how the campus will come together to see the Hoosiers return to glory.

Thanks for reading and I'll return soon!

-Nick M

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