Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
By Nick Gann Contributor
Every year a few big topics always seem to bubble up to the surface of campus discussion. Facebook groups are made, speeches are given, and students complain. These “issues” are usually summed up into first-world problems. Don’t confuse this with student groups who routinely work to promote the causes they hold dear to them and plan activities for students to become educated about their concerns. There are real problems that exist on campus, but those are often overshadowed by “Save the Whales in Ecuador” petitions.
One of the greatest strengths of this school is accessibility. On any given day, I can write an email to the administration. With this comes a sense of entitlement because you can contact them and it makes you think that your problems is their largest concern. The administration might have more urgent things to worry about during a recession than students who don’t like that they can’t re-enter an event. While the location of an event does help with its success, events are made great by the effort of the hosting organization and those who attend. If you can’t have fun at Crystal Ball or near Cold War jets, then maybe it is you who is not that fun. You concentrate on things that impact you, their concentration is on the reputation of the school and the liability of the school, so that when you leave here your diploma might mean something.
Contrary to popular belief, a hangover is not God’s way of telling you that you kicked ass last night. If you don’t know that drinking too much is dangerous to your health and to others, then no amount of informational brochures are going to tell you otherwise. Furthermore, if you take a job as a supposed student leader, and are employed by the school, it should come as no surprise that when you break federal law, the school might crack down on you. Bring disagreements with the administration to their attention only if they are able to fix them. If it is a law, call your congressman.
While some may say that the administration is not open to discussion, let me say this, important things that are consistently voiced seem to have the most impact and the most success. This is because of effort by student organizations and individuals, not petitions and opinionated rants like this one. You might enter college with concerns and beliefs, but they teach you how to advocate for them.
Furthermore, let’s reflect on the job the school has done in our time here. Increased student enrollment.
$23 million. Consistently rated by many magazines as an excellent college. Began major renovations, in a recession. Students didn’t like cafeteria food, so they allowed for a student forum. Increased influence for StuComm. Bad economy? Need a summer job? Work for the school. In my own experience, when the Michigan Promise Scholarship was eliminated, the school picked up the tab. Tuition increased, I got another scholarship for writing a thank you note. Tuition increased again, the same scholarship got larger.
It takes a strong administration to take criticism and act in a manner that holds your hand even after you leave college. Try that in North Korea, I bet their main concern is being able to drink at state functions.
Literally, you leave and they stay. They ensure your opinion is credible. Quit whining. Advocate for important issues. Do your homework. Enjoy DOGL. Don’t cry wolf.