This year at St. Mary’s has been one of do’s more than don’ts. It has been by far my most involved year on The Point News, not only as Managing Editor, but also as a writer. I’ve highlighted a few of the many events that have encompassed our year, in the hope that those who have been in the dark can see the picture I’ve had the honor of watching unfold.
We remembered Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin, not part of our community but still in students’ hearts. We welcomed Dave Zylak to his official position, and said farewell to Dean Bayless. The alcohol came to The Pub, then left, then came back.
Seniors planned Gala, designed a class gift, and celebrated our two big pre-graduation landmarks. We welcomed back The Nest, but didn’t miss Loni Love.
We said farewell to Norton Dodge.
We discussed Public Safety commissions, and started using our OneCards at St. James. We took a day to discuss what matters most, and continued our talks with Joe on Tuesdays, Dave throughout the year, and fellow students at The Pub on Thursdays.
We welcomed Dean Goldsmith, Blackboard 9, student Judicial Advisors, and sustainability interns. We also welcomed our SGA representatives once they got around to elections, and saw them get impressive work done for all of us.
We discussed College wages, what “living wage” really means, and the consequences and limitations of state budget freezes and admin salary changes.
We celebrated our Seahawks at Hawktoberfests, the CACs, and throughout the year.
We welcomed Regina Curran, and wished her the best at American University.
We planned our campus’ future, planned to make Route 5 safer, and continued sustainability initiatives as best as we could without our Fellow. We even moved Margaret Brent across a road, and stayed up with Joe to watch the whole thing.
We survived fires, earthquakes, a hurricane, mold, hotels, moving on a ship, and bed bugs (for many of us, this one should be longer).
Throughout ’11-’12, we have all seen the best and worst of ourselves, times we could have improved and times we were flawless (or at least good enough).
More importantly, though, I have been able to watch this community expand how much it really cares. More interest groups have formed this year than any other I’ve seen, and they’ve more strongly voiced their reasons for forming in the first place. Students are talking more about what they believe, and finding means to break down barriers of race, gender, and ethnicity. We’re no longer afraid to remember those we don’t know, or speaking our minds about things we do. We throw ourselves out there on stage, on the path and on the patio, and march from Waring Commons to Calvert Hall to show our concern. Each day, we are showing this campus more and more that we care about what St. Mary’s means to ourselves and the outside world.
With financial struggle, state freezes, loss of aid, and increasing tuition, we all have reason to question what is best for everyone, and if we’re really doing what’s right to maintain who we are. We have less to work with, and every decision we make as a community will have a bigger impact. Now, more than ever, is the time to voice our beliefs and concerns, and it’s a relief that our dialogue has stepped up to this need this year. My hope is that when I’m gone after May 12, I can still check out what’s happening on campus and see we’re as opinionated as ever.
It’s not easy to balance the experience and judgment of the administration with the beliefs of a majority student body. We all have opinions and experiences that tell us what is best for the whole, and no one should be forgotten. The only way to make sure of that is for both sides to keep that open dialogue, and hopefully, we can all make it through these difficult times with as few scratches as possible.