I want to pick up on the passionate back and forth we have had leading up to the Washington State game about rushing the court. No, I am not interested in rehashing that topic at this point. However, what I am interested in discussing more is the point about generation gap brought up by Classof66:
Perhaps, it's been so long since we hung a banner that the "We only celebrate national championships" mantra means little to our current students.
As much as I understand the rhetoric on all sides, I can't help but feel that the old un's really don't understand the young un's and the young un's are upset by what they think is an attack by the old ones.
Truth is, we've probably not had this discussion before and, therefore, we don't have shared values.
I think this is something we have to think out even more. There is no question BN has always been tilted towards the alums. We ran a poll couple of years ago trying to figure out the breakdown of alums/students/fans here on BN and it turned out that only 12 percent of BN community were students at the time.According to that poll 64 percent of this community were alums (with heavy concentration from the 90s and 00s).
The breakdown in favor of the alums has been somewhat strategic as when we started blogging at this place we laced our observations from the lenses of alumni. One of the reason we started this place was we thought there wasn't a place specific for UCLA alums to get together and talk about sports mixed in with those great memories of Westwood. As a result, BN has always organically attracted alums. We couldn't be happier about that and will not make any apologies for it.
However, I think the conversations we have had this year stemming from student attendance at key games and exploding from the court rush topic, also points to the need for better communication between students and alums. I understand the strong takes (laced with emotion) we often bring in here can come of as "attacking" students. However, at the same time, students need to understand that there is nothing wrong with bringing disagreements here on BN.
If there was we wouldn't want anything to do with promoting Sideout11's thoughts on the homepage. It's not the first time we have had disagreements on BN. I know I have had my share of strong disagreements with Classof66, ryebreadaz, Achilles and others on BN but it did nothing to impact our relationships. We have never had problems with disagreements but just don't care much for attacks on moderators (because everyone here is pitching in their own time for this).
From what I sense is we need students to take a more proactive role in sharing their views on UCLA athletics and build out a narrative based on substance. They need to bring those perspective bases on facts and emotion. Clearly from what we have seen from Sideout11, YoYo, and Cully, the students are more than capable of bringing it here on BN. I think there needs to be more of that. It would be good if few emerge in the coming years weaving their own narratives as UCLA students crazy about Bruin athletics.
One of things we envisioned was BN to be a real networking tool for the greater Bruin family including alums, students and hardcore fans with emotional investment to UCLA athletics. We think we have made some progress in achieving that goal. Based on the traffic of this blog, I think it is reasonable to make a guess that there are hundreds (if not thousands of alums who read this site) who will step up to help any student or member of Bruin (BN family). It would be good to figure out a way to make the connections deeper.
So, in closing for now I think we need more students to share their experiences at UCLA and connect with other alums to strengthen the Bruin family. We have a platform here that provides us a great tool to do just that if we use it in a smart and effective way to organize ourselves.
It would be awesome if more students take advantage of it and take the initiatives to connect with us in a productive way without compromising their passion for all that is blue and gold. UCLA would be that much better off, if we can proselytize those four letters together on the same page. Those are my thoughts on this for now. Would love to hear from others, especially on students on what they can do to play a more prominent role on BN.