When I stepped onto campus Friday morning, there was a change heavy on the air. The Houston sky was still its usual blue. The trees were on their way from green to different shades of oranges and yellows.
But once I turned into the main part of campus, I discovered where this great sense of joy and pride was coming from. From the University Center to M.D. Anderson Memorial Library, past the Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall breezeway, and out to every outlying parking lot around this great campus, there was not a speck of maroon or burnt orange in sight. All I could see was red.
My fellow Coogs, this is a tell tale sign of greater things to come. Those of us who were here last year, and years before that, will be hard pressed to remember a Cougar Red Friday not marred by the sickening appearance of rival school colors, worn by the traitors in our midst, who have no respect or regard for their current school.
What kind of terrible person does it take to, on a day specifically designated for Cougars to wear their school colors in pride, wear another school’s colors? On past Cougar Red Fridays, my eyes were insulted by the sight of, not red, but LSU purple and gold, UT burnt orange, A&M maroon, and for Pete’s sake, I’ve even seen someone wear Lone Star!
To visitors of our great campus, the sight of students walking to and from class wearing those shirts demotes us. No right-minded Aggie would so much as think of putting on the burnt orange, nor would any proud Longhorn so much have a hue of maroon in their dorm room closet.
This year, on the first Cougar Red Friday of the year, things have changed. They must. I sincerely hope that Friday was not a fluke, and that the mindsets of my fellow Coogs have truly changed. To see so many students that day wearing red, to be able to stand on the balcony at the second floor of the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library and look down and see nothing but a sea of red shows how far we have already come from those old day perceptions of UH as just another college, as just “Cougar High,” a commuter school with no real community, no sense of dignity or pride. Things are different now.
Last season, our team was nearly undefeated, and the teams we faced could hardly even put up a fight. Enrollment records are at a record high, and student housing is at 100 percent occupancy this year. We’re running off a spree of pride and confidence, and if we can stay strong, as a community and as a school, the Houston Cougars will continue to grow into a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
James Wang is a history sophomore and can be reached at email@example.com.