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Monday March 19, 2001

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Noon playing of 'Bear Down' in students' hands

By Brooke Wonders

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Online poll for or against the song runs through the week

Students can go online to UA's Web site this week and vote "yes" or "no" to keep or kill the "tune at noon" - the UA fight song.

"Bear Down" has rung out over the courtyard between the Psychology and Modern Languages buildings every day at noon, ever since the November launch of the $1 billion Campaign Arizona fundraising event..

"The idea of playing 'Bear Down' at noon started last year when we were celebrating the kickoff of Campaign Arizona," said UA spokeswoman Sharon Kha, who organized the original playing of "Bear Down" for the event. "It was intended to be played for that one day only, but the more people heard about it, the more people thought it would be a good tradition and wanted it played after the gala."

Kha said that she had heard varying perspectives on the song though, prompting her to leave the song's playing up to students. So she set up the survey, which was also partly in response to columns and letters on the topic published in the Daily Wildcat.

The mixed student reactions range from sarcastic loathing to support for traditional school spirit.

"I think it's great that the U of A finds it necessary to brainwash its students every day at noon with mindless fight tunes," said Mike Sousa, an art education sophomore. "I know whenever I hear it I just want to go and buy every piece of U of A apparel in the bookstore."

Sousa said that he and some friends had debated setting up a stand on the UA Mall with a petition to get rid of the song, but they had never managed to organize.

Hannah Galbraith, an undeclared freshman, had the opposite reaction.

"If there was some big, beautiful bell that had rung for a hundred years then maybe (stop playing the song), but (a bell) doesn't compare to 'Bear Down,'" she said. "Before, it was just a couple of chimes that people could hear, but 'Bear Down' is our theme song."

The vote on the song's future will go on throughout the week.

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