What Grinds My Gears: Student involvement

You wanna know what grinds my gears? You. Yeah, you. You guys reading the Archway. Do you know how much work goes into making a weekly newspaper? We put out TEN issues a semester. We probably spend more hours on the Archway in a week than the hours you spend in class. You contribute nothing, yet you look for the Archway every week and expect it to be there.

And this isn’t just a problem with the school newspaper. This isn’t a disgruntled assistant editor complaining about running a newspaper at a business school. I knew that this would be hard when I signed up for it, but then I realized the lack of participation has nothing to do with this school’s business population. It’s everyone. Or at least the population of this campus who participate in all the events student clubs and organizations put on but don’t join any clubs or plan any events.

There are tons of organizations on this campus that are struggling for membership because people don’t want any responsibility. They don’t want to take less than an hour of their time out of their week to attend a meeting or event. I go to Bryant too, guys; the schoolwork is hard, but not that hard. I still find time to be a part of all the groups that I’m passionate about.

I’d like to see this school go a month without any of the events and programs that students have a part in organizing. Hell, even a week. No SPB events, no free SASS speakers to get tickets to see, no Bryant@Night events to go to before you head down to the townhouses, no newspaper to read, not even a club meeting. No tables in the Roto, no Festival of Lights, no Spring Weekend. These are all programs that students take a part in planning. Without these students, you’d have nothing. A bare brick Unistructure wall advertising nothing but your sad life of going from class to your dorm and nowhere else but Salmo.

The fact is that this school is a community. We’re all students, and we should be supporting each other. I’m taking MGT 200 this semester, and my professor likes to advertise “service learning” where you not only receive experience but you give something back to the community and nonprofit organizations. Why can’t we have that same attitude with our school? Why can’t we have a school where we all take part in a club or organization that’s important to us and attend events that our peers have worked hard to organize?

I know the people at this school. If you can be passionate about getting wasted, finding a job at some accounting firm, and procrastinating until the very last minute possible to do your homework, I think you can find something meaningful to be passionate about too. Don’t you want to contribute something to this school?

This is a real problem at our school. And if you think this doesn’t apply to you, take a harder look at your life at Bryant. Are you using every minute of your time for something important? If not, then you have time to give. And if you don’t think you have time to give, you have no right to complain about the Spring Weekend concert not being the genre you want. You can’t complain about this campus “not having anything to do,” and you most certainly cannot complain about the Archway. I’m not asking you to give up your afternoon nap or TNR or townhouse parties. I’m not saying you have to be on 10 different e-boards or let your grades suffer. Be the best you can be, that’s all I’m asking. Give back to this school and community that have given you so much.

2 Comments

  1. I survived Bryant fine without going to any of these “activities”……People like me needed to rest & relax after class/studying and working off campus. Also, and I walked through the Archway every day and still graduated.

  2. Martha Kuhlman, ECS December 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    The previous student comment is really lame. Of course you can survive Bryant without attending any activities, but did you really get a well-rounded education? I asked my students to attend the Chimamanda Adichie reading, and in their written responses they all said that it was eye-opening. Adichie challenged American assumptions about Africa with humor and grace, and students came away from this lecture more thoughtful about other cultures. The least one can do as a Bryant student is attend a few of these events. Keep an open mind. You will be pleasantly surprised and perhaps even learn something.

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