Discourse / Editorials / October 1, 2009

Thoughts from the Embers: Taking initiative

It is true, Knox fosters ideas about being able to affect one’s environment and allows both students and faculty members the opportunity to become a part of some amazing programs. Many of those opportunities, however, go unused, showing a lack of initiative among the campus community as a whole.

Time and time again, students work hard to create something tangible on campus and once their program is off the ground, they graduate or leave for the summer and by the next fall all the momentum is gone. The free store, a wonderful idea, is completely underused nearly three years after it started. We could have a nice facility to take gently used things and exchange them for something new. Instead, the location has bounced around, hours irregular and traffic erratic at best.

Then there’s Knoxignment, started last year, which has not had much involvement by either students making things or students purchasing the merchandise. This could be an amazing opportunity for crafty people, artists or entrepreneurs to make a little cash doing what they love. Where else can they sell their goods for 90 percent of the profit? And we’re always talking about supporting our local Galesburg economy, so why not support the local Knox economy?

Finally, students are not widely taking advantage of the publications opportunities on campus. Sure, Catch publishes twice a year, selecting top student work, but even they launch a humungous submissions campaign, begging for work in areas outside of the popular fiction and poetry. Students should be fighting for pages, not hesitant of being rejected. Additionally, there are so many other opportunities to be published as well. Cellar Door, Quiver or Common Room are all good outlets for student work, and they all are soliciting like crazy just for their publications to exist. Creative writing is a popular major, we should take advantage of this.

Also, TKS is always scrounging for writers. How many journalism minors are out there who have never set foot in the publications office? This is a pre-professional opportunity where you can get real clips that will help you get a real job. Where are you?

These opportunities are here for us students to use, yet too often we don’t. Perhaps it is because classes at Knox are just too hard to be spending time at extra curricular activities. We here at TKS, who spend hours making this paper every week in addition to our classes, think this is unlikely. Perhaps the sheer number and diversity of activities have spread us too thin. Perhaps it’s because we like the idea of having opportunities, but beyond a few strong leaders, taking the actual initiative to do things is much too overwhelming.

Let’s get over that and invest in our community. We’re here for four years or more, that’s enough to care.

Flu shots

Two years ago, Knox acquired the health center on campus, after months of preparation by the administration and vigilant students. The center was supposed to be a place where all students could go to get help so they didn’t have to travel into town, especially if they didn’t have a car.

The health center was supposed to be a place where students could get prescriptions for anything that would come up, whether it be cough medicine, steroids or birth control. Women are to have one free pap smear a year, as per the deal Knox used to have with Family Planning. The doctors there could identify mono, test for infections, and refer students to the hospital if they needed more care.

This year, the health center has been crowded with concerns about the swine flu, among other health issues, and inconvenient hours during the week, have caused the lines of students to pile up. I can only guess how overwhelming this must be for the staff working there.

As a campus e-mail this past week tells us, there will only be 100 flu shots given by the center this year, on a first-come-first-serve basis. That is 100 vaccinations for the over 1,000 students on campus, during this “pandemic”, at the facility that is supposed to serve us all. Another clinic is scheduled for later in the month, but how many shots will they have then? What about those of us who have class and will have to wait, nakedly exposed to the germs traveling around campus?

They shouldn’t have a clinic for the flu shots, but rather an auction for the highest 100 bids. That way, at least they could make a profit and perhaps expand their services to include us all.

TKS Staff

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