Some of the first things students noticed upon returning to campus this semester, aside from the shift in construction from one side of campus to the other, were the new, slogan-clad banners, featuring University of Mary Washington students as poster children.
Bearing phrases such as, “(No apologies) it’s how I think,” “change your mind” and “it’s a yes-brainer,” these banners portray UMW as a place that encourages students to use their intellectual capabilities to form well-reasoned opinions and viewpoints.
The University takes the message further with its tagline, “Where great minds get to work.”
It is up to the students to put these ideals into practice.
As 2012 is shaping up to be an extremely influential and politically-charged year for the United States, it is as important as ever that college-aged citizens claim their voice in the future of the nation.
Saying, “I’m just in college,” is not an excuse for social, political or professional apathy or irresponsibility.
As educated young adults, we have a responsibility to take part in the world around us and not get caught up in the “campus bubble.”
It will not be long before we are emerging on the job and housing markets. Healthcare, the environment and international affairs will have even greater effects on our generation than they did on our parents’. We cannot afford to wait to get involved in the future of our country.
College is an environment designed to foster experimentation and form well-reasoned, personal opinions as well as a safe place to respectfully hear and debate the opinions of others. It is not an excuse to act irresponsibly or demean the opinions of others.
Let us shed our apathy and actually strive to live up to the ideals that UMW so proudly displays all over campus and put our unapologetic, open minds to work to make our world a better place.