It is time to answer the age-old question.
No, I’m not going to tell you the meaning of life or whether or not there is a true and omnipotent god. Rather I am going to give you an in-depth theory on a long-standing ethical dilemma – is it ever appropriate to wear another college’s clothing as a UC Davis student?
Some die-hard members of the Aggie Pack might tell you that wearing the colors of another university is never acceptable. Other, more passive observers may say that no one cares what you have on.
My view falls somewhere in the middle, and involves a more complicated breakdown.
To fully define the complexity of the issue, I have split the issue into a three-tiered system – ranking transgressions based on severity.
Tier 1: The non-competing schools
This tier includes all universities that do not compete directly with UC Davis in any sport. This would include major powers such as Florida, Ohio State, Texas, etc.
Since these schools do not have any direct link to UC Davis, there is no reason to avoid wearing their logo on campus. The Aggies are never going to compete with Florida, so why should anyone care about you sporting a Gators hoodie?
Therefore there is no ethical dilemma here and you may continue about your day with one caveat: if UC Davis should by some chance face your favorite team in a major sport or big game, it is in poor taste to wear your team’s clothing within two weeks of the event.
Tier 2: The California Schools
Tier two is very simple – it is reserved for all colleges in the state of California. Whether or not we are competing directly with these schools, we are constantly being compared to California, UCLA and Stanford. Why should we offer them extra support?
Further, we do face the majority of these teams in at least one sport every year. Wearing an opponent’s clothing is nothing short of a slap in the face to those student athletes who are representing you in their chosen sport.
The solution here is simple – leave your clothes at home. Find a drawer somewhere in your parents house and fill it with all of your Cal, UCLA or USC gear. It will still be there when you graduate.
Tier 3: The rivals
The final tier is reserved for just two schools: Cal Poly and Sacramento State.
I will take them one at a time in order to give them the proper level of attention.
First: Cal Poly.
The rivalry with our enemies to the south has grown over the past several years. This is partially due to the close games played on the field, but it also stems from the simple fact that Cal Poly and UC Davis are highly competitive academically. For this reason many UC Davis students also applied to Cal Poly – meaning that a sizeable portion of you reading this were either: 1. Rejected by Cal Poly or 2. Accepted by Cal Poly but chose UC Davis instead (for the record I fall into the second category).
Either way, you shouldn’t be supporting their cause.
If they rejected you then you should hate their guts. You wouldn’t wear a shirt professing your love for a man or woman who rejected you, so why would you wear a shirt with the name of a school that passed you over?
If you were accepted to Cal Poly then that means you chose to come to Davis. If you made this rational and reasoned decision, why would you then choose to walk around campus in you Mustangs sweatshirt?
Second is Sac State.
This is fairly simple: have some respect for history.
The Causeway Classic has been played since 1954, and since that time UC Davis students have built up an animosity toward that school to the east.
UC Davis’ version of the UC fight song Big ‘C’ even includes a verse stating that Sac State’s “green will turn to blood” when it faces UC Davis.
Wearing Sacramento State clothing is not only a disgrace to current Aggie athletes, but disrespectful to the generations of Aggie Packers who came before you.
So show some school spirit. Burn all of your green and gold and replace it with Aggie garb.
TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.