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UALR: What We Could Be

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Grace Horton

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of UALR: What We Could Be

UALR: Without a Team

Go, Fight, Win!
Imagine this: Sitting in the stands at a UALR Trojans home football game. The crowd is cheering, the stadium is live and we are going to the championship if we win this game-- not to mention admission rates have increased, sponsors are coming left and right, we are both recognized by the state and nationally and most importantly students all feel a sense of community with surrounding city of Little Rock.
By: Grace Horton
Why It Will Work
College football provides "donations, applications, and the academic quality of the student body are some of the mission outcomes thought to rise with [the fortunes of] the football team." (Smith). Not only does having a football team add to athletic aspects of a school, it also attributes to nonathletic aspects.
Strive for Greatness
Just recently someone asked me "Do you know what UALR stands for?" I reluctantly replied "no," for I only know the one true meaning but with the devilish grin he had on his face I knew that could not be what he was referring to. He replied, "It stands for University of Arkansans' Last Resort." Stunned, I felt my face turn red with both embarrassment and anger! Was this true? UALR was the first and only school I applied to. However, I can relate to what he is saying. There is little to no support from the surrounding city of Little Rock. Being in the heart of Arkansas, the capital city, this should be the last worry we have as a university.
Call a Play
As an incoming freshman at UALR, I feel that my peers and I are not getting the full "college experience". Though I am at a 4- year university with many characteristics of one, I feel that we lack a sense of community from the surrounding area of Little Rock. Similar to an island, we need a mainland to survive as a school. Community is vital to our campus.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance Website provides an article written on the Best Values in Public Colleges. (Snider). The article "grades" schools of all forms around the United States-- creative performing art schools to technology specialized universities, you name it. Their grading system is based on 55% quality and 45% cost. While both are important factors in choosing a school, notice quality is weighted more. This being said, UALR is not an outrageous price compared to other 4-year public universities, however, we are not on the list at all. So what is holding us back?
Two Minute Warning
So who else does this affect, you ask? The answer is everyone! It affects the incoming students, current students, university faculty, and even the city of Little Rock. It has been proven by the Learning and Individual Differences Journal, that "Emotional engagement with school is an essential prerequisite for student effort, achievement, and persistence in school." (Elfers, Oort, Karsten). Basically, without any sense of community at school, students are less likely to attend class, care about graduating or even enroll in the school at all.
Play by Play
While I may sound like somewhat of a Debbie Downer, I want our school to succeed just as much as the next student. I want to be proud of my school and become an active alumni that can confidently say, "I loved my college experience". Though college is similar to the saying "life is what you make it" the school and its atmosphere can either help or hurt.
Winning or Losing
UALR is 1 of 3 schools in the Sun Belt Conference without a football team
-The Sun Belt Conference: collegiate athletic conference that has been affiliated with the NCAA's Division I since 1976. (Sun Belt Conference).
"Grayson Shelton, manager of information services in the university's development office, has posted a lengthy article online arguing in favor of Trojan football." (Staff).
-It is since been taken down. Clearly I'm not the only one that believes this will help UALR.

"According to the Department of Higher Education UALR’s graduation rate from 2007 through 2012 was 19.3% which falls below every other four year institution in the state and is nearly eight points lower than the next two lowest schools. Arkansas Tech and the U of A place in the top two graduation rates with 46% and 60% rates." (Kauffman).
All of the above universities, besides UALR and UAFS, have a football team.
-Is this a coincidence?
Down by 19.3%
Why our lack of community from surrounding areas affects our school as a whole
Brought to you by
these sponsors:
The Game Plan
Play #1: Create a football team
Play #3: Get sponsors to help with the cost of enlisting the team, buying gear, and creating the stadium-- whether we buy or build a new one.
Here are just a few of surrounding businesses:
Play #2: Make money off of the sport. Similar to an investment piece of clothing; if you get your wear out of something, it is worth it in the long run, right?
A Bright Future Ahead
Play #4: Increase Enrollment Rates; More students means more money to defray the cost of starting the football team.
Play #5: Enjoy the Rewards
What is community? Community is defined as "a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society" by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. This common characteristic that we share is UALR. Students attend, faculty works, and businesses surround the school. Ultimately we are all affected by its location.
Works Cited
Brown, Jamila. "The Forum » Pigskins Don’t Fly at UALR: Touchdowns Not in University’s Future." The Forum » Pigskins Don’t Fly at UALR: Touchdowns Not in University’s Future. UALR Forum Student Newspaper, 6 Mar. 2011. Web. 03 Nov. 2013. <http://ualr.edu/forum/index.php/2011/03/06/pigskins-dont-fly-at-ualr-touchdowns-not-in-universitys-future/>.

Buslig, Bryon. "Enrollment Growth In The Fall (2007-2013)." Chart. UALR Forum Article: Enrollment down for the Second Time. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.

"Community." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.

Elffers, Louise. "Editorial Board." Learning and Individual Difference 8.4 (1996): 327-53. Print.

Gaines, Cork. "Most Profitable College Football Teams." Chart. Business Insider Article: Should College Athletes Get Paid More? N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.

Five Epic College Football Stadium Scenes. Prod. Charles Offenbacher. Youtube. N.p., 7 Jan. 2013. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.

Rabinowitz, Jordan. "Sport Popularity by Region". Map. Sports Grid. N.p., 21 Nov.2012 . Web. 6 Nov. 2013.

Smith, D. Randall. "College Football and Student Quality: An Advertising Effect or Culture and Tradition?" American Journal of Economics and Sociology 68.2 (2009): 553-79. Print.

(UALR Trojan Football).
Past the 30 Yard Line
A football team has been turned down because of lack of scholarship funds, according to Chris Peterson, athletic director at UALR. "The problem is we aren’t fully scholarshipped as it is," Peterson continued. "Adding a football team would require an additional 85 male scholarships." (Brown).
-Isn't it our job as a university to enhance our future? Ultimately these 85 males are our future.
-What if, perhaps, they wouldn't be able to attend college without a football scholarship?
Admission rates are at an all time low, as well.
-Won't sporting events and sponsors increase both admission rates and funds?
Snider, Susannah. "Best Values in Public Colleges, 2013." Www.kiplinger.com. Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Feb. 2013. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.

Staff, Arkansas Business. "Arkansas Business." Arkansas Business. N.p., 22 Dec. 2011. Web. 03 Nov. 2013. <http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/28388/is-it-time-for-ualr-to-play-football>.

Subways nearest each university, Conway/ Little Rock, AR. Personal photograph by author. 2013.

"Sun Belt Conference." Home. Sun Belt Conference, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013. <http://www.sunbeltsports.org/>.

The Wonderful State of Arkansas. N.d. Photograph. Colorado Guy. May 2013. Web. 3 Nov. 2013. <http://coloradoguy.com/arkansas-photos/arkansas.htm>.

(Five epic college football stadium scenes).
Touchdown $
There is plenty of revenue just waiting to be made.
(The Wonderful State of Arkansas).
UALR vs. The Opposing Team
I often visit UCA to see my boyfriend-- a sophomore at the university. While at the school I see many differences, not in UALR's favor, between the surrounding community of Conway and the surrounding community of Little Rock. I compared these two universities because they are the two public 4-year schools in central Arkansas. While they do not share the characteristic of a football team, they do share many others.
Take the two nearest Subway's from each campus for example. UCA's nearest Subway not only has Bears decoration on the outside of the business, it also features a football helmet behind the counter and a banner hung on the wall. The restaurant even has tables outside to cater to those students that come to eat a meal. On the other hand, UALR's nearest Subway has attempted to decorate the outside of the building with Trojan decor but they fell short as far as the inside. When I entered, I forgot all about being just minutes away from our campus because they had not carried the theme inside. (Might I add, at UALR's nearest Subway, the decoration appeared to be done by groups on campus rather than genuine support from the business. )
(Subways nearest each university).
End Zone
Questions, comments, concerns?

Thank you!
American Football is clearly the most popular sport among Arkansas, not to mention the United States as a whole. This comes into play as far as recruiting athletes, earning revenue, and just overall support.
Drop-back Pass
Another comparison, also not in UALR's favor, can be made to UCA as well. You would think that having a football team might make tuition more expensive for students, however, UCA's tuition is significantly less.
UALR Undergraduate Tuition and Fees
Average Fees Semester Year
Average Tuition and Fees $3,800.40 $7,600.80
Room and Board $2,765.00 $5,530.00
Books and Supplies $600.00 $1,200.00
Total $7,165.40 $14,330.80
UCA Undergraduate Tuition and Fees
Average Fees Semester Year
Average Tuition and Fees $3,666.05 $7,332.10
Room and Board $2,640.00 $5,280.00
Books and Supplies $500.00 $1,000.00
Total $6,806.05 $13,612.10
"Tuition and Fees." Bursars Office. Board of Trustees, 23 May 2013. Web. 07 Nov. 2013. <http://ualr.edu/bursar/home/tuitionandfees/>.

"Tuition & Fees." Admissions. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2013. <http://uca.edu/admissions/financial-aid/tuition/>.

UALR Trojan Football. 2012. Photograph. Facebook. 16 Aug. 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2013. <https://www.facebook.com/UalrTrojanFootball>.

"UALR Surrounding Areas." Map. Google Maps. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2013. <https://maps.google.com/maps?

(Tuition and Fees).
Full transcript