The Shippensburg University community and campus life is often fragmented into smaller groups. Our university is defined more so by our individual groups and lacks a central school spirit. The truly disappointing part of our campus climate is the large percentage of our population that is not involved on campus.
Many broad-based categorical groupings are used by students to explain this lack of involvement. First-year student, senior, on-campus resident, commuter, international student and so on are just a few of the labels that do no justice to explain why large numbers of people are not involved in our campus culture.
Many issues persist on campus, the solution of which requires collective action: Diversity and inclusion, sustainable usage of resources, campus cleanliness, financial woes, lack of kindness, lack of campus spirit and poverty in our community. These are only a few issues existing on campus.
Campus and community support, philanthropic giving, environmental advocacy and school spirit and pride are carried out by only a small percentage of the population. I see the same faces at cultural diversity events, professional development workshops, community outreach projects, intercollegiate athletic matches and games and school spirit-related events. That same small percentage carries the burden well-beyond proportionality.
Conversely, I see dozens to hundreds of students who are involved with one or no clubs, organizations, Greek Life, sports teams or philanthropic organizations. The day for them is for their academics as well as personal leisure. That is it.
I am not trying to say that academics are not important, because they are in fact the reason we are all here both literally and according to our taxes. However, there is a lot of time in college to be filled with non-academic engagements. I am not aware of everyone’s individual circumstances and by no means am saying that everyone who isn’t involved on campus is purposely choosing to not contribute to the greater community and culture; however, I know for a fact that many are.
I call on the population of SU to step out of its comfort zone, put down the Xbox, sacrifice some sleep and give back to the greater good.
Imagine what could be achieved if not just 25% of the campus but 100% or at least 75% purposely and positively contributed to the issues that face us all.
Our campus would be more welcoming, inclusive, environmentally friendly and spirited. We would share in communal “Go Red Raiders!” pride.
Don’t just imagine. Give it a thought, then join multiple of our more than 200 clubs, organizations, sports teams or Greek organizations.
Don’t just join but become an actively engaged participant. The time is now.