By Victoria Lavelle
Where has DCCC’s pride for the Phantoms gone?
Some recent cosmetic changes have transformed certain parts of the Marple campus into looking more like the hallways of West Chester University.
In fact, WSU’s trademark purple and gold colors reach across the Marple campus from the driveway entrances, deep into the heart of the campus’ STEM building’s halls and stairwells.
Jennifer Parker, a criminal justice major at DCCC, raised the concern she had when the WCU colors first began to appear across Marple campus.
“I was walking to astronomy class on the fourth floor of the STEM building and the purple and gold colors were bold and dominant,” Parker explained. “I was confused because the WCU colors and [Golden Rams] mascots seem completely out of place here at DCCC.”
Traditionally, school spirit is rooted in praise and glory with college students showing off everything that makes the campus a great place to be, while also demonstrating their undivided support for the college’s sports team.
The Phantoms have been the only mascot to reign at DCCC since the college was first established in 1967.
Nevertheless, more and more areas of DCCC’s Marple campus have been transformed into resembling a welcome mat for West Chester University students since an on-site degree completion agreement was signed in March 2018.
The agreement allows DCCC associate degree graduates to earn a WCU Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a minor in business law without ever stepping a foot off campus, according to the DCCC’s official website.
Additionally, DCCC students who have earned other associate degrees are also encouraged to apply so long as they have completed the prerequisites and requirements for the business management major at WCU, according to the university’s website.
The agreement also enables qualified students, pursuing an Associate in Applied Science Nursing Degree (ASN), to concurrently enroll, on a provisional basis, into the Registered Nurse-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) degree program at West Chester University.
Yet, student frustration over the WCU colors and official mascot adorning the property at Marple campus is mounting.
Students like Anthony Matina, a psychology major at DCCC, are puzzled by all the hype centered around the WCU Golden Rams.
“The WCU Golden Rams mascot at DCCC is an eyesore,” Matina explained. “Where are the welcome signs for DCCC students and where is the love and support for our Phantoms? The WCU stuff is overkill.”
Matina isn’t alone in his frustration, as the concerns seem to be a growing trend among other students across campus.
“It’s odd to see so much support for WCU in Delaware County, especially since WCU students don’t play sports at DCCC,” said liberal arts major Michael Riley. “The DCCC Phantoms sports players, both present and past, should not go uncelebrated.”
As Riley pointed out, there are several reasons to celebrate the college’s trademark Phantoms mascot.
In fact, one good reason dates as far back as the early ‘70s, according to Director of Development Doug Ferguson.
Showcased in his office, Ferguson has framed photos of several players from the Phantoms baseball team who won the championship in 1971.
Ferguson explained how the history-making team recently sent him the photos, so he has displayed them on his office wall to commemorate the team’s historic win and remember one of the team’s fallen players.
Today, DCCC offers a wide range of sports programs at all levels, from competitive intercollegiate athletics, to more informal recreational sports and clubs, according to the college’s official website.
The official Phantoms sports include men’s baseball, basketball, soccer and golf, while women’s sports include basketball, cross-county, and indoor track and field.
DCCC has a longstanding athletic tradition and has produced numerous top performing student athletes, who have accomplished high achievements wearing Phantoms uniforms.
In 2012, DCCC’s Phantoms men’s basketball team captured the Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference Championship.
In 2018, Phantoms golfer Thomas Weir became the first student-athlete to earn All-American honors, when he placed fifth in the nation at the NJCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship.
Last year, Phantoms athlete Taneira Bowman made history by winning two national titles, two additional medals, and the coveted status of All-American.
Bowman won first place in the triple jump, first place in the long jump, and placed second in the 100 meters and third in the 200 meters at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Men’s and Women’s Outdoor National Championships.
Moreover, freshman Julianna Moss raced into the college’s record books with a runner-up finish at the 2019 EPAC Division III Women’s Cross Country Championship – Region XIX.
Her first year in a Phantoms uniform, Moss crossed the 5K race finish line with a college-record time of 20:51.
Despite the Phantoms successes and achievements, their mascot and official team colors of blue and white remain nearly nonexistent across DCCC’s Marple campus.
There are no welcome signs for DCCC students and team spirit for the Phantoms has slipped to an all-time low.
At least for now, it seems as though Phantom Nation has fallen off the radar, leaving some students to fester in their frustrations.
Contact Victoria Lavelle at firstname.lastname@example.org