We donât need an idol to worship. We need something to stand behind.
Every year the graduating class votes on a senior gift to the school from a list of choices, compiled by the Student Alumni Committee.
Although the class of 2007 voted for a contribution to the Alumni Scholar Endowment Fund, which provides financial aid, the options provided included the partial sponsorship of a wolverine statue.
The senior class demonstrated a comforting maturity in voting to give money to financial aid, despite palpable support for the statue. However, the issue does raise an interesting question: is the community in need of a school symbol, a rallying point for the entire student body?
At the university level, school spirit can be an inspiring and almost overpowering element of campus life. A common element among some of these schools is a unifying symbol that represents the school both internally to its students and externally to the world.
Students at Tufts University have a tradition of painting a cannon before athletic events and other campus-wide events. Northwestern has a boulder with a similar purpose.
On the other hand, schools like Yale have historic statues of their founders.
Conventional or not, the school does need a symbol, but one that doesnât come at the cost of sacrificing more important endeavors.
Through a community effort that involves both the administration and the student body, rather than a select group, it would be possible to find something that represents the varied talents and interests of the students hereâperhaps something other than a dollar sign.
That said, Harvard-Westlake doesnât need a dominating monolith, a glittering idol or an imposing icon; it needs something more universal and something more accessible.