Wearing rivals’ colors detracts from USC

While having breakfast at EVK, I read an excellent article in the Daily Trojan by my friend Blessing Waung. The premise is that USC students wear other schools’ paraphernalia. She believes this is a bad thing, instead preferring that USC students wear nothing but cardinal and gold. (To read the article, see: Wearing rivals’ colors detracts from USC.)  Although I certainly understand where Blessing is coming from, I respectfully disagree. When I see other students wearing the colors or logos of other schools, my respect for them does not decrease and, most of the time, it doesn’t bother me a bit. But before you start calling me a traitor, let me explain my reasons– then you can judge and let me know if you find fault with them.

First, being an elitist is a bad thing, but the fact that some Trojans wear other schools’ colors shows that they are not. They are not dedicating their lives to some exclusive Trojan cult. Consider what the students would be like if the refused to wear anything other than USC cardinal and gold. If upon the sight of any other school’s clothing, they immediately despised the wearer for that reason alone. That’s not school pride. That’s extremism. It’s not necessary to discriminate against other schools in that way. After all, we all know that Trojans are better, so what difference does a t-shirt make?

Second, this shows that Trojans are aware of other schools. Wearing exclusively USC clothing is not school spirit. That’s living under a rock. There are other decent universities out there, and by wearing their clothing, you’re showing that you’re proud to be associated with them in some way. You can be proud of USC and Caltech at the same time. (In particular, there are situations where a Caltech shirt would be rather awesome.) Just because you’re a Trojan doesn’t mean you automatically hate all others. Admittedly, the situation is a bit different when it comes to sports rivalries. But it’s still a good thing to be aware of other schools.

Third, wearing the colors of other universities shows that USC students are individuals. We are each unique and have our own sense of style. We don’t have to blend in. We don’t give in to peer pressure. We don’t have a herd mentality. We don’t all think the same way. We are not part of the dumb masses. Therefore, we have the ability to sometimes wear non-USC clothing. There are plenty of Trojans who do wear the USC colors every day, and I would venture to say that every USC undergraduate has worn them at one time or another. We have tons of school pride. But we are also smart individuals. We’re not pressured to be part of the crowd and blend in with everyone else.

So while I agree that there are some problems with wearing rival school colors, it’s not all bad. For the reasons stated above, I am glad that USC students don’t feel pressured to wear “USC” 24/7. And I hope they continue to have this freedom.

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