September 19, 2003
Survey labels our campus apatheticThe Princeton Review recently finished its annual breakdown of the best and worst colleges in America, and it has become quite obvious there is at least one major shortcoming here on campus that the whole nation now knows about.
Sure, Susquehanna was ranked as one of the best 351 colleges in the nation in the guidebook, which was released in August.
Yes, the university placed 10th in a top 20 list for "best quality of life," along with schools such as the University of Richmond and Dartmouth.
And let's not forget that the university was picked eighth in a category that took into account how happy students are with their financial aid.
There's nothing wrong with giving credit where and when it is due, and Susquehanna's reputation among the best liberal arts colleges in the nation continues to grow with each year.
But there is one glaring result of the survey that everyone should take into account: Susquehanna was ranked 20th-worst in a category titled, "Election? What election?"
As you may have surmised, the category ranked schools in terms of political apathy.
This ignominy confirms the suspicions of a small minority of students on campus, while the rest were probably busy not caring about results that told them they didn't care already.
If any of you are in denial about the political lethargy here on campus, take a look at this page during an average week. The forum or opinion page of a newspaper should logically be a good litmus test of what matters on campus. More often than not, you will not find anything written by a member of the student body trying to stir up political debate. Occasionally, you may find name-calling and mud-slinging, but it usually takes events on the scale of Sept. 11 or the outbreak of war in Iraq for serious discussion to begin.
Okay, so the high and mighty Princeton Review told us something we already know, why should we care? We are just a small liberal arts college in Selinsgrove, Pa., in the middle of nowhere, right?
Sounds like a cop-out to me.
The opening of the Arlin Adams Center for Law and Society in 2001 should serve as motivation to increase political awareness on campus. How can the center thrive when the university's overall political indifference is plastered all over the pages of the Princeton Review?
Furthermore, not only is believing that you shouldn't care about politics because of where you are or who you are illogical, it hurts you in the long run.
If you believe that your opinion doesn't matter, then you will be a self-fulfilling prophecy -- you won't matter.
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