Why CNU Signet Class Rings Should Not Be Our Only Choice
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Why CNU Signet Class Rings Should Not Be Our Only Choice

CNU Students Need More Individuality in Their Rings

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Why CNU Signet Class Rings Should Not Be Our Only Choice
Christopher Newport University Facebook

As my fellow juniors know, CNU has decided to create a signet ring style. However, they have also taken away the other style options. Instead of being able to choose the ring we feel best represents us and our time at CNU, we can only choose the signet ring, and I am disappointed in my school for making this exclusionary decision.

Signet rings have long been a tradition of royalty and aristocracy. Historically, they have been worn to signify that someone belongs to an elite, exclusive group or club. For example, the only rings available at the Ivy League schools are signet rings. This is so when people see it, they know that person went to a prestigious school.

CNU is young and vibrant, not steeped in wealthy and prestigious traditions like the Ivys are. CNU students freely express themselves through many different majors, sports, clubs, music, and volunteer work. There is no variation within the signet rings, no room for personal expression - the same personal expression we take so much pride in on this campus.

We are a different breed than the Ivy Leaguers. We are not trying to brag, "I'm wealthy, and my whole family went to Yale," by wearing a big, heavy, gaudy piece of gold on our hands. While many of them come from wealthy New England families, CNU has students that come from middle class families and wealthy families. Some are on their own and pay for their education out of their own pocket. We are not all trust fund, country club kids. However, it feels like that is the image CNU is now trying to project.

We are not members of an elite group here. Yes, CNU is a wonderful school that is becoming more appealing and harder to get into, but CNU is also trying to be something it is not with this ring situation. We are an accepting and friendly community, not something exclusively that rejects someone or something that is not like us or our traditions.

This school is still creating traditions and developing a personality. CNU has been operating since 1960, not the 1700s or 1800s. If they really were concerned about traditions, they would not have taken our choices away from us. My mom graduated from this same school in 1991. I always loved her ring and wanted one like it, but now that has been taken away from me.

CNU appears to take pride in its diversity. Being a liberal arts school, we have students in all types of majors, from STEM to Theater. We have nearly 225 clubs and organizations for everything from sports, to a cappella groups, to Greek Life, to academics, to Christian groups. For such a small school, we have such a variety in the interests of the students. The powers that be brag about this at Admitted Freshman Day and Setting Sail, so now why are they trying to make us all the same?

I think the design is nice, but I do not want one. I'm sure there are some who will want the signet ring, but other options should have been given. CNU students cannot be put in a box, and that is what the administration tried to do with the signet ring - create an exclusive CNU "club" that represents only one particular thing. What that is, I have no idea.

We have a personality all our own. A personality that does not need to imitate Harvard and Yale. We are proud of our school, mostly because it provides us with so many different outlets to express our individuality, and we should be able to express that pride in a way we choose after graduation. Keep the signet ring design available, but also give us a choice.

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