It can be quite tiresome to witness the perpetual whining of clubs, each groveling for money from the Student Government Association’s Finance Board. It is organized panhandling, undignified and indicative of the failure of the previous generation to instill in this generation the values of fortitude and strength.
Many are appalled at the state of the modern university and see it as being representative of the collapse of a western society as a whole, crushed by the weight of its own decadence. Dedicated reporters have examined this phenomenon through digital mediums like YouTube, providing audiences with hours of footage documenting the actions of “special snowflakes.”
Student organizations need to lead a paradigmatic shift. In the trophy-for-everyone era, student organizations should be required to earn their money instead of begging for it. The SGA should institute a school-wide mixed martial arts tournament for student organization funding. All of the money available to the Finance Board will be pooled and allotted to the winner (and the club the winner is a part of).
The exact structure of the tournament is subject to modification. It could look something like March Madness, with a set of brackets and rounds culminating with a final match.
Organized fighting has a long and honorable tradition in the western world. Although many point to Greek-style wrestling as being the origin of organized fighting in the west, the Roman gladiator fights are a much better starting point.
Greek wrestling is far too sanitized and sissified; not enough blood, not enough gore and far too many rules and regulations. Greek wrestling put too high a premium on empty platitudes like “sportsmanship” and “gentlemanly competition.” In ancient Rome, the lowest of the low would have to prove themselves and be willing to shed blood and kill for glory.
We can also look to America’s old friend across the pond. British bareknuckle boxing is a tad tame in comparison to Rome, but certainly embodies many of the same values. Some may object, noting how these fighting tournaments fetishize violence and promote a culture of hypermasculinity. This of course begs the question, what is so bad about a little hypermasculinity? These kids could use some hypermasculinity. One thing’s for sure: the anemic hypo-masculine approach just is not cutting it.
It could also be argued that an event like this may plant a wedge between students and student organizations that threatens school unity. This is only partially true and ignores the fun to be had watching these tournaments. The spectacle of it all will bring the community together. Students, after a long day of classes, can kick back and watch their colleagues duke it out for their survival and for the survival of their clubs.
UMBC’s student body is often maligned for its lack of school spirit. UMBC is not a particularly sports-centered school, and most sporting events do not draw large crowds. This tournament will revitalize the campus and will give UMBC a chance to experience the beauty of male sports culture (think betting pools, excessive drinking and general post-event rowdiness). Clubs will no longer have to worry about the minutiae of cost-benefit analyses and will instead get to focus on their primary role as the vanguard to lead the youth forward to reclaim their past glory and rejuvenate civilization.