Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Skate Break: Community

By Ryan Northcutt

In skateboarding, there exists something that people don’t always have. The broad word of it is community, and yes there is community in many other things, but nothing like the skateboard community. If a typical person things skateboarder, most people thing drug infested punk attitude low lives. This is a stereotype, and may be partly true for a select group of skaters, but for the most part nobody is like that in the skateboard community.
            I am going to put an emphasis on the word community. It’s important for us as skaters to stick together in times we fell pushed away from society. That may sound sappy so in other words, we do what we want, and what we do is important to us. Now let’s stray away from thinking that we are all punks that are out to destroy our urban landscape. Much of that happens in response to negative response from the general society. Point being, skate parks and skate plazas will save those pretty little ledges and hand rails that are useless to the common white collar worker. This is just me ranting now…
            I want to bring up something relative to my life and me being at Southern. We have a skateboard club called Southern Illinois University Skate Society (SIUSS). This is the perfect place for the outcasts to go and feel at home. But our purpose as a club is to raise awareness to the university on a local level and show them that we arnt a bunch of punk skateboard kids. This group has made a ton of progress in the past couple years. The people who run it are extremely dedicated and passionate about what we do as a club to show our gratitude towards society.
            Now I have been involved in AIAS for 4 years now, and to say the least it is worth every penny. The connections made and memories gained are timeless. But to be honest I am not going to drop everything and devote my entire life to architecture. Being a part of a club that isn’t architecture is one of my best choices as a student in architecture. We see our classmates enough with all the time spent in studio. Getting out and hanging out with a group of people who share the same passion, that isn’t architecture, is really important to keep yourself who you are. Plus being in a group of skaters, we all have different backgrounds, which in the long run creates even better connections. Plus in a relative time, we bring every idea to the table with every different kind of thought. It’s a great and wonderful experience.
            As a group we all bring idea up and we plan events for us and for the campus. We strive to keep skateboarding alive and positive. More and more students are using skateboards and longboards to travel from class to class. Well for those who want more, we give them a community to feel significant in and show them what we know. Intimidation is an issue with anyone who isn’t experienced, but the fact is we don’t care if you do suck. We are here to pass knowledge because it’s all about having fun, not who is the best. Similarly that happens in architecture. It’s unfortunate how people are divided by skill when we are all in it for the same reason. Being a part of this skateboard community really shows me and others that we are all here for the same reason and not here to judge. We want to see the best of us, not ourselves.

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