Discourse / Editorials / November 9, 2011

Thoughts from the Embers: Waking up a currently quiet Knox campus

It has become seemingly evident that student involvement around campus has taken a hit this year.

A wide variety of organizations and gatherings around campus and in the surrounding area have seen struggles to get students involved. We have seen evidence from our event coverage of the quieting of the Knox College campus.

While it is likely that an argument about the busyness of students may arise, has the amount of time, on average, that we spend studying or working seen a remarkable jump that would give an explanation for this?

Any involved student in Senate, The Knox Student (TKS) or a service organization on campus will be quick to say that they are no less busy with academics than the uninvolved. By cutting into our sleep or even our weekend celebrations or most likely better organizing our time, whatever it may be, we are still capable of finding the time to leave a lasting impression on the campus and help move the campus forward.

Certainly there are bright spots of student involvement around campus, but overall it is down.

Struggles in participation in Senate prompted an op-ed piece from Student Senate President Gordon Barrett. While participation at weekly meetings is usually minimal, participation and opinions on topics is nothing compared to previous years.

Service organizations, like Circle K, have seen their own struggles with participation. Their yearly Halloween food drive, Trick or Treat for Canned Goods, saw a major fall-off in participation. This is one example of diminishing involvement in service projects.

Another example is the Occupy Wall Street movement. It has taken off in numerous cities and campuses around the country, but despite all of this, Knox has seen no demonstrations on campus; the first Occupy Galesburg protest saw only a handful of students. Certainly numerous students went to Chicago to take part, but still only a small part of campus has been inspired to take a direct part in this momentous movement.

We also see this diminished involvement at TKS; we have clearly seen our readership numbers plummet despite adding additional newsstands to ease your ability to pick up a paper each week as well as the addition of an active Facebook page (and additionally now a Google+ page). Unfortunatly we are on average down 200-300 issues taken a week and down about the same amount for stories on our website.

We have only seen five Letters to the Editor this year and almost no comments on our Facebook page or our website. Without your feedback we cannot successfully improve our newspaper to better cover what is important to you.

We are not your average college campus. We tote our community service, our active student body, but these shimmers of light for the campus have been seemingly diminished this year.

While a majority of college should be devoted to study, being part of a community and being active in that community is a vital part that many students have not given much focus to so far this year.

Being involved not only improves your community that you are a part of for four years, but also improves your well being. It can help you connect with new people, develop important life skills and give you a fun break from the doom and gloom of studying.

Be involved Knox. Go voice your opinion in Senate, leave a comment on our website, help feed some Galesburg area children. Do something to improve our community and move us forward. Do not leave the campus after your four years, having taken your classes and received your degree and left no mark on the Knox community.

TKS Staff

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