To Whom it May Concern…
To those who stay in their rooms...
I am writing this letter to you to debunk some common themes on campus. The first - that not everything is SGU’s fault. The second - you are the one who is taxed with going to events on our campus, no one will hold your hand. The third - your opinion and voice cannot be heard if you do not speak up.
Well, now that we've got those harsh statements out of the way - Hi, how are you? I assume you're reading this because you saw the title (yes, clickbait) but, while you’re here, let me address some of the above issues.
Not everything is SGU’s fault. I’ve noticed how often people bash on SGU and it’s participants. Sure, it’s fun to make jokes about something in our daily lives, but really, how much can we make fun of them without it just being belligerent? Sure, they can be accused of the following: infighting, not listening to their peers, and seeming like a clique. But they are human too. I’m sure you clash with your peers and disregard options you don’t find helpful. I’m sure you have your group of people you hang out with ninety percent of the time that seems a bit closed off to others.
Step back and think a moment. If you were constantly the person everyone blames the bad outcomes on, you’d get tired of it too, right? They aren’t some circuit board that operates only to your demands. They are just like you. They are students, they have social lives, they have personal lives, on top of everything that goes on in SGU. You can’t expect them not to laugh in a meeting or participate in every single topic (the meetings run over time anyway, what makes you think that anything would get done?). You also can’t expect them to know everything going on in campus life. Sure, most of them are connected to groups on campus, but if you’re having a problem with a policy or food services and don’t tell them, they won’t know. You have to make the effort to tell them what is bothering you (or if you like something, positive words are always helpful and encouraging). They aren’t perfect by any means, but they are human.
Speaking of getting involved on campus, no one is going to hold your hand. That’s your job. CAB, AHAB, Res-Life, and other clubs on campus do many events for our students. No one is telling you to leave your room. No one is going to drag you to have fun. That is all up to you. You are the student that paid the activity fee. That’s your money being put to good use (whether you’re there or not). If you don’t want to pay the fee, that’s up to you. But don’t hold the rest of us hostage with the constant complaining that “There’s nothing to do…” or “Events suck, I just stay in my room.” It’s often the same fifty faces at any given event; why don’t you add to that number? We would all like to see you there. It would be a great way to make a new friend. Everyone knows you have class work, every person there has something to do too. But an hour out of your night that takes away from gaming must be hard, huh? I know some of the events aren’t the best (can we be done with the comedians and magicians? They are all blurring together...) but if you go and then give feedback, I’m sure the next one will be better.
Don’t want to go alone? Grab a friend. I’m sure they would like the push. Or, if you can’t find a friend, go anyway. You’ll see someone you know (classmate or club mate) and they’ll probably be glad to see you too (hint- they are probably there alone as well).
Having social anxiety or just not feeling well are valid reasons to not go to events. But only going for a few minutes makes a difference for you and them. It could help you expand your network more, or become more comfortable with social situations (I’m not going to assume given I don’t know your situation. But I do know people will support you and help you out if you’re not feeling you can do it on your own).
Your opinion and voice cannot be heard if you do not speak up. Ah, the last one. It seems to be the biggest problem. It connects back to a simple fact; they can’t read your minds. They don’t know you are upset over food services or the fact that we have disgusting water fountains in Donovan. Sure, they experience it too, but if the student body they represent doesn’t tell them they are upset, they probably won't do anything about it. You have to speak up if you want your demands met. Do you think that you will be heard outside of our college if you don’t speak up against something you don’t like? You can and will be swept under the rug in the “real world” if you don’t act. Take this chance now so it will be easier in the long run. If you really don’t think you can talk to a current senator- run for their position next semester. Anyone with a 2.5 GPA and the ability to write a short bio about themselves can run. Be the “better” senator and listen to your peers. Go ahead, no one is stopping you.
I know this letter will fall on deaf ears, and it probably won’t change your attitude towards SGU or the events on campus. But I hope my point has gotten across to those who have read this far. And I hope to see you make a change on your campus. I know I would like to see some changes.