Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Snetiker: Sports or smarts?

Lately, I have found myself seriously questioning the future of Northwestern and its national reputation. With our 5-0 winning streak, we face an identity crisis and it’s time to consider making a choice: Big Ten or Ivy League?

If you’re an obnoxious reader (and there are many of you, I’ll bet), you’ll be quick to notice that the choice was in fact already made years ago. We are in the Big Ten, and we are not in the Ivy League. Easy, right? But I think the reason I’m having such issues with our identity is because we’re not fully committed to either extreme.

Let’s look at the Big Ten aspect. Now, I know as much about sports as I do about how it feels to give birth; I can make my assumptions here and there, but quite frankly, that’s one area of knowledge that I definitely won’t be learning about anytime soon. Still, believe me when I say that I care just as much about having incredible sports teams as does any other warm-blooded college kid.

I’m not knocking our football team – rock on, boys – but there’s no doubt that we’re not exactly the best in the Midwest. When I think about the football prowess of the rest of the Big Ten, it makes me sad that my brothers (who both attended Big Ten schools, no less) have bragging rights when it comes to athletics. It just upsets me that we’ve still got a long way to go before we become a staple at the top of anyone’s football poll.

So I turn to academics. While I’m definitely not hesitant to brag about being U.S. News and World Report’s highest-ranked school in the Big Ten, I can’t help but tear up a little bit when I hear the term “Ivy League reject.” In reality, this university has the unique potential to rise up from its crouched spot at the coattails of the Ivy League, and maybe join its ranks some day in the future. Or, if not join its ranks, then at least become well-known enough that people don’t respond to my statement of “I go to Northwestern” with a reply of “Oh, is that in Washington?”

We’ve got the talent, skill and potential to grab that boost into the superstar list of colleges. We’re already way up there, but I won’t be satisfied until our school’s name gets dropped in some more high-brow movies than “Mean Girls” and “College Road Trip.”

Think about it. Would you rather be the Big Ten school with the incredible athletics, or the fresh face in the Ivy League that makes big headlines with its academic statistics? Or are you perfectly happy being at a school as well-rounded as you were in high school?

To be honest (and to void the entire column), I’m happy with any of the options above. While I love what this school could become, I also love what it already is. Tear. All I’m saying is that it’s time we at least discuss other possibilities for new identities that’ll make us recognizable enough, so I will never have to explain again that Northwestern is not, in fact, in Washington.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Snetiker: Sports or smarts?