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Student Section Etiquette Debate Erupts Again

Blake MillerContributor ISeptember 17, 2009

Two weeks into the 2009 football season, and the annual debate has begun.

The Hockey Cheer- a Spartan Marching Band melody that spurs outcries of vulgarity from the student section- has been revoked from all future football games.

Gone is a 1975 classic that has been accompanied by claims of "F--- [opponent]!"  and another claim I have no idea how to censor (let's just say it deals with private parts).  Depending on your side of the issue, gone is either the most obscene or hilarious cheer of the student-filled crowd.

The conflict is nothing new.

In 2007, the band unsuccessfully tried to play over the other obscene cheer: "1-2-3... First Down Bitch!"

The Izzone sent out reprimanding emails when cursing was involved in last year's home opener at the Breslin Center.

Such repeated controversy creates an opinion from everyone.

"Students feed off it, it increases the energy level," says no-preference freshman Rhylie Brown.

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Students outraged on www.statenews.com, Michigan State University's online newspaper.  Blogs included assertions that college students have the right to do as they please at an event intended for them.  Even simpler put, one blog states "Hey if you don't like it, don't go."

But not everyone is so care free on the issue.

The distaste includes the actual football team themselves.  Sophomore quarterback and captain Kirk Cousins told the State News, "It's something I would like to see changed.  I know some students are going to be frustrated with me saying that, but that's the way I feel."

Peter Sanchez, a Spartan alum, likens the Hockey Cheer to "pulling off a juvenile stunt".

All in all, the only certainties are the split views on the issue.  Some students dislike the cheer.  "It reflects very poorly on the school, but principles may be hard to stick to after hours of tailgating," declares law student Adam Burns. 

Even more, convincing thousands of kids to change in such a wild environment is no easy matter.  This was well evidenced by 2006's failed attempt to say "Pound Green, Pound!" instead of "F--- Ohio State!"

The persistence of the cheer demonstrates most just think of it as just having fun, and stick to a light-hearted stance.

Faculty, alumni, and season ticket holders find it no laughing matter.  They want it removed, and the band is obliging.

The even disbursement over the issue was well demonstrated by a State News poll.  The on-line questionnaire found 60 percent of students want to keep the cheer, 30 percent want it revoked, and 10 percent didn't know or were indifferent.

So what's your opinion? 

Are people taking things too seriously?  Are students just enjoying a tradition? 

Are they poorly representing the university?

Weigh in.  The debate rages on.