Columns / Discourse / October 23, 2014

Responsibility and the need for action

As my senior year whizzes by me, I am becoming more aware of just how fragile the “Knox ecosystem” could become. Many students act as pillars of this campus, running multiple clubs and organizations only to be met with constant setbacks and disappointments stemming from the student body.

The editorial board for TKS, which I’m proud to have a voice in, kicked off this year with a message to the Knox community that they needed to be wary of apathy. We saw the familiar theme of indifference setting into the school’s clubs and organizations and felt we needed to say something. We were not wrong to do so, as apathy is a deadly disease in its own right, but I feel the thrust of the piece falls short without a secondary commentary on responsibility.

I still do believe in the importance of fighting apathy with all my heart. With apathy comes destruction and regret, two things that no one wants to remember their college years by. But the problem with simply combating apathy on its own is that it only reminds us to care and seek that which is inspiring. Responsibility, on the other hand, implies obligation.

I am not about to say Knox as a whole has a responsibility problem that can be fixed by a few harsh words and a pep talk. I myself have not lived up to many of my “responsibilities” at Knox, whether it be from falling short on some of my academic projects to sleeping away a custodial job with some lovely people. However, these personal situations which we feel so rooted in are only fissures of a much larger responsibility held by our community at large.

As members of the Knox community, we are undoubtedly tasked with maintaining the space in which we occupy. As much as I hate to say it, attending club meetings is only one small way you can hold yourself responsible for the well-being of the Knox community (though always a great suggestion).

Instead of settling for resume builders, always consider how your actions (or lack thereof) affect the emotional and physical space of the community. Always strive to bring new ideas and activities to our space. Attend every gathering you sign up for and you’ll be surprised how much energy the community will return to you. Better yet, you always have the chance to be the one bringing events to Knox.

Remember, unlike apathy, responsibility demands action, so even on your busiest days make sure you spend at least a moment giving back to the community that continues to support you. Little things like remembering to always hold the door open for those behind you and picking up any trash you see on your way to class are far more effective community tools than you might imagine.

For our time here, Knox is our home, our community, and we have a shared responsibility with all Knoxians to be progressive and continue the tradition of striving for more.

Payton Rose
Senior Payton Rose is a political science major with minors in creative writing and Spanish. This is his first year working for The Knox Student as discourse editor. He has written a political column for TKS for two years.

Tags:  apathy community energy involvement Knox responsibility

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