Intercollegiate Apparel: Are You Swapping School Spirit?

Students here wear their Penn State apparel every day – like it’s a uniform. Be honest: we know you own enough PSU-related clothing to complete an entire wardrobe. (Sweats? Yoga pants? Socks? Headbands? Jewelry?)

And then… there are those students who wear clothes from other colleges and universities. We’ve seen it, and our student body is and always has been big on school spirit. Is it weird and disloyal to wear another school’s logo, or is it acceptable with good reason? We asked some of our peers for their thoughts.

“I agree with [wearing another school’s logo] if there is some kind of connection, like a family member or a friend. But other than that I don’t really see any reason for it. If you go here, then I think generally, why not wear something PSU? You go here for a reason. It doesn’t make much sense to wear something from somewhere else,” says David Kobbe, a junior studying supply chain and information systems.

There are plenty of understandable explanations for owning say, that IUP or Maryland t-shirt. It could be that your boyfriend/girlfriend or a family member goes there. Maybe you were raised nearby and it’s just a representation of your hometown. But at a school as pride-centric as Penn State, the acceptance stops there.

Sports have a huge presence in our campus culture. Football and other varsity teams have a major influence on school spirit. For some, it’s not always a good enough excuse to say you are wearing a different shirt because you’re a fan.

“My roommate owns a USC shirt and says it is because he likes them a lot. But I don’t really get that. You go here, not USC. If you really like them that much, then what are you doing at Penn State?” he questions.

It’s safe to assume that wearing any Big-10 or rival school could be viewed as disloyal. Unless you’re asking for controversy, wearing (or even owning, for that matter) anything Ohio State or Michigan is an obvious no-no.

In the end, as with all things, the choice is personal. However, the common response among Penn State students reflects that of Kobbe’s. Without good reason, there is no need to wear anything non-Penn State.

Lauren Guiltinan, a freshman studying nutrition, says, “one of the things I liked most about Penn State when I first visited was seeing so many students walking around actually wearing Penn State stuff. You don’t see that at a lot of other colleges. I think that it makes sense for students to wear Penn State clothes while on campus. It shows that you are proud of the school you go to.”

Photo by Nina Abbott

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