Blog by Ben Hall
My name is Ben Hall, and I’m a freshman here at UMass Amherst and new to blog writing in general. With the Frozen Four just around the corner, I thought that I would write my first blog for The Militia about why the anti-UMass rhetoric has to stop. Not only should it be put to an end, but it should be replaced with the pride and praise we deserve.
I think a lot of the time people forget the principles this country was founded upon. Before there was liberty for all, freedom of speech and religion, before we could even be taxed by England, we hopped on the boat (wagon) to build a better life. That’s right: America was founded on people hopping on a metaphorical bandwagon just because someone said the grass was going to be greener on the other side. They left England for a chance of something better without even knowing there would be anything valuable about this new land. People called them crazy and told them they would regret leaving; they tried to hold them back with unfair taxes after they started to succeed. Where did these settlers land, might you ask? Where did the Revolutionary War begin? That’s right John Buccigross: Massachusetts. Not only did they survive off this land, but they thrived off of it and practically paved the way for the United States to become what it is today. They didn’t care about what England thought or said. Instead, they put their nose down and built the foundation of our great nation. I truly believe that UMass is a perfect representation of the original Massachusett spirit and that, right now more than ever, we need to show the nation why UMass is at its best.
One such instance of UMass hate that I experienced personally was when I was waiting tables last summer. The town I worked in was full of middle and upper-aged moms that loved to go out for brunch. Naturally, I would flirt with these ladies to try to get the extra cash out of them. Often times, when I would make small talk with my parties and college, came into the conversation. I told one of my tables that I was going to attend UMass Amherst in the fall, an elderly woman exclaimed, “Oh sweetie, you can’t go there. I would never hire someone who went to UMass at my company; you’re too sweet for that.” Well, I have some news for you. First of all, I am only nice to you because I know you’ll tip me more if I flirt with you. Secondly, UMass Amherst is everything I wanted in a school and more, so stop hating on the Flagship just because we had a rough start. Our sports teams are better than ever, our academics are top notch, and our student body is willing to fight anyone who says otherwise.
Here’s my point. Why do people keep hating on UMass for its past when there is a promise of better times to come in the future? The first settlers from England were treated the same way. They were unfairly taxed once they started to become independent, just as UMass is unfairly criticized as it becomes a powerhouse in every aspect. We might have needed a little kick in the butt before, but we are big boys now and can handle ourselves just fine. Not only is there hope for the future, but I truly believe that UMass is the place to be right now. We have the 26th best public education institution in the country, a top-ranked hockey team, and of course, the best dining in the country. As a completely unbiased reporter, it’s hard to say that UMass isn’t the best school in the world.
So if you’re still hating on the Minutemen, take a step back and re-evaluate. If you aren’t ready to run through a brick wall when you see Coach Carvel hoist the Hockey East trophy above his head in triumph or Subbaswamy announcing his bobblehead night, you need to either hop on or get out of the way, because the wagon isn’t stopping anytime soon.
Maybe we have made mistakes in the past. Maybe we haven’t always been the best, but that doesn’t mean for a second that we aren’t there right now or on our way. Be proud of Massachusetts and be proud of its school. We are THE University of Massachusetts, don’t expect us to be backing down anytime soon.