Knox belongs to its students. At the end of the day, the community of tuition payers is both owed and responsible for a complete community experience. The student body should be able to come to Knox with a certain set of expectations to be kept by the school, but also come ready to be active members of the campus.
To that end, two recent student-led projects have caught our eye. Last week, we reported on Advocates for Choice creating a sex education program to “fill in the gaps” that are often ignored for first-years entering the school. Another group on campus, SASS, hosted a presentation last Tuesday on the topic of body image and self esteem to make up for the lack of visibility and resources surrounding the issues on campus. These are but two recent examples of students taking initiative to benefit their community at large.
We have noted (and generally encouraged) the increased activism found on campus. That endorsement, however, does not extend to those students that are content complaining and adding negativity to campus without making an effort to better the community.
Events like the ones mentioned above show that there are many routes students can take to improve the quality of campus life. The groups used money specifically earmarked for student spending to make their vision a reality.
Certain problems will, obviously, only be remedied by administrative change. These systemic issues – ranging from the handling of sexual assault cases to tacit and overt displays of racism – are prime targets for mobilization of students who wish to protest or otherwise draw attention to understated problems. Yet they are not the only means of effecting change on campus. The school has a wealth of available resources for student groups to utilize for their vision of campus.
Students may not feel that it is their place to join movements that voice issues they personally do not face while at Knox. While this preoccupation with hijacking a movement is well intentioned, it is nothing more than an excuse if the student body does not find other ways to improve the campus.
Apathy breeds decline. If there is something on campus that is lacking or not up to par, student organizations can help.
Our words should not be read as giving Knox a free pass. There are serious issues we have editorialized that showcase some glaring shortcomings that face the administration. Yet, to ignore concrete examples of students making Knox their own – using school funds, nonetheless – would facilitate the very apathy we continually speak out against. Kudos to the clubs and organizations that continually bring new perspectives and opportunities to campus. You are the ones improving Knox.
If you find yourself criticizing Knox or its policies, pause and commit to making those same points at a Student Senate meeting or get in touch with your student representative to do so for you. If there is an event or opportunity you feel should be afforded to the Knox campus, talk to a student organization and help make it happen.
We are pleased to see Student Senate awarding so much money to student groups on a weekly basis. We firmly believe that student voices can make a difference here at Knox, but to do so requires effort. Take charge of your academic career and try to bring Knox one step closer to the vision it could be.