Starting about two weeks ago, I began work on the story that resulted from the recent provost switch at the university.
I was really excited to take it on, because it’s probably the biggest (read: most important) campus-related story I’ve written in my college career.
But I wasn’t purely looking forward to it for that reason – I was really interested to see what my fellow students thought about the ordeal.
As I’ve heard it said, a provost doesn’t just leave in the middle of the week.
In my attempt to conduct interviews with other students, though, I was sorely disappointed by the results.
It wasn’t that I thought the students’ opinions were wrong, because I am no person to judge in that respect, but it was that most of them didn’t have opinions at all.
In fact, the vast majority of the students I approached didn’t even know what had happened.
As a student journalist, it’s my job to know what’s going on. But with this story in particular, I found out exactly the same way that everyone else (supposedly) did – in an email.
It wasn’t sent directly to me and only me, and it wasn’t in a press release. I didn’t have to dig to find out that this happened – it was right there in front of me. All I had to do was read my email.
When I asked what they thought, most students told me that they don’t read those messages sent to all students, or to the entire Gannon University community. They don’t have enough time; they’re not interested; they really don’t care.
That last excuse is what got to me.
I understand apathy – it happens to the best of us, in a variety of situations. What I don’t get is that so many students, apparently, apply it to their chosen university. If you don’t care about what’s happening here, then why did you come here? What do you expect to get out of it?
In my opinion, a college education is worth a lot more than a shiny piece of paper at the end. (Is it shiny? I don’t have one yet…)
Although I’m not a prime example of the cause I’m about to argue, I have a fear – possibly irrational – that this will apply to the politics of my generation.
What happens to this country, or to the world, when the majority of its inhabitants don’t give a damn?
The few people who do care will start getting their way, which will most likely affect everyone else who hasn’t been paying attention.
Could this happen at the university level?
I think so.
The changes that happen above our heads matter, not only for the faculty and administration, but for the students too. The decisions made behind closed doors may not be tangible, but they’re affecting our education.
It’s our job to know what’s happening, and perhaps to form an opinion, especially when it’s delivered straight to our inbox.
If we don’t know what we have been explicitly told, we have no grounds to argue for things we really care about. Like it or not, it all stems from the same seed.
I wonder whether anyone’s heard that the pope just resigned.