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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Bear down’ important reminder of resilience

    Now that the school year has wound down and finals have been taken, now is the perfect time to reflect on the school year and look back at the lessons learned.

    Maybe this past school year you learned how to do a synthetic analysis of (5aR,8aS)-3,3-dimethyltetrahydro-1H-cyclopenta[e][1,3]dioxepin-7(5H)-one from maleic anhydride and 1,3 butadiene, or maybe you learned to enjoy life more and worry less about school. The most important thing I learned is to be resilient.

    This past year we’ve seen the UA, and the Daily Wildcat, make national headlines twice: In the first semester with a homophobic cartoon published by the Wildcat and in the second semester with UA student Dean Saxton’s posters promoting rape culture.

    But while these events garnered a lot of negative attention, they also proved that the UA is resilient. When the cartoon was published, the LGBTQ community and allies didn’t stay silent. They spoke up for themselves, hosting forums and raising awareness.

    When Saxton tried to spread his hatred throughout campus, a number of UA organizations stood up and let him know that his message was not acceptable.

    As Wildcats, we all embody resilience. In fact, our motto, “Bear down,” rings with resilience.

    I have to admit, the phrase didn’t really make sense to me until this year. Why would a team called the Wildcats be supporting bears in its fight song?

    And yes, I had heard the story about how John Salmon told J.F. “Pop” McKale to tell the team to “Bear down,” but that didn’t seem to make it worthy of being a slogan.

    However, seeing how UA students responded to adversity this past year showed me our resilience in a light that no sports team ever could.

    We should be proud that our school’s slogan is “Bear down.” Not because we love our school’s history, but because it means that as Wildcats, we are resilient. We take one good hard look at animosity and ignorance and then keep on fighting.

    Every time you wear a T-shirt that says “Bear down” on it, or you look at the basketball court or football field and see “Bear Down” scrawled across it, you are reminded to be resilient.

    There will be moments in our lives when we don’t want to keep fighting, when we just want to roll over and give up. But in those moments, we have to say, “Bear down.”

    Every day at noon, the fight song plays over the loudspeaker from the Administration building. One day, stop and really listen.

    It’s more than a fight song. It’s more than a slogan. It’s a sign that, as Wildcats, we all possess the innate resilience to carry on when times are at their toughest.

    — Dan Desrochers is the opinions editor. He can be reached at or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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