Published September 2004:
Seek to Preserve
School's CSU Identity
Web Page, Shirts
& Retail Site Announced
With the 110-year plus tradition of Spartan football facing
possible extinction, and the lack of school pride at San Jose
State an almost daily topic in campus related media, Spartans
who are fiercely proud of their school's status as the original
California State have launched a campaign to protect and preserve
that identity. This includes a new web page devoted exclusively
to the California State Normal School (1862-1921), a new California
State commemorative T-shirt, and a retail location featuring
state-oriented products and a display of historical California
State N.S. documents.
A growing number of Spartans believe San Jose State's small-time
"metro U" (city college) identity is the root cause
of the school's decline. The name doesn't even make sense:
San Jose is not a state.
Once a leader, the oldest CSU campus now ranks fifth or sixth
among CSU campuses in size, alumni associaton membership,
donations and other metrics of success. The school has obviously
lost its rightful place as the flagship of the CSU system.
In fact, market research indicates that because of the city-centric
"SJSU" identity, many do not even know the school
is a CSU campus.
Its city college identity is simply not prestigious enough
to compete with area schools and attract the kind of solid
residential students, professors, athletes, coaches, donors
and statewide support needed to sustain a "destination"
campus, and Spartan football. Instead, it only tends to attract
commuter students who don't support the university, financially
Groups like CSU Alumni San Jose
and CSU Spartans believe a more
balanced state/city identity is more appropriate for the State
of California's oldest college. After all, San Jose is
not a state!