Bradley students hear that word used almost as much as the phrase, “university of national distinction.”
But these two are contradicting to me. How can we be recognized as such a great university when everyone – faculty, students, administrators and yes, even The Scout–often said we are a body of apathetic students?
Frankly, I disagree.
Sure, I’m one of those four students at women’s basketball games, and I see the lonely student section at men’s soccer games. In the traditional aspect of athletics attendance, we are fairly apathetic. Perhaps this doesn’t come from a lack of caring, but rather a lack of time.
But, this lack of time often stems from students being busy by passionately pursuing their other interests.
As someone actively involved in many aspects of this university, I see students all across the board without a single drop of apathy in their blood.
I see students on executive committees of multiple organizations, ones working several internships, ones standing up for what they believe and ones going out of their way to help others.
At The Scout, there are eight staff members that are presidents of other organizations. Some of them put in more than 30 hours a week for a mere $15 paycheck.
As president of SONOR, I get 7 a.m. phone calls from other members that are excited to share an idea. Committee chairpersons send me emails with detailed plans for events that are still months away.
In my role with the Student Activities Budget Review Committee, I see student organizations trying to grow their clubs and bring events to campus that meet the needs of other students. Whether it’s a speaker about homosexuality or an opportunity for students to read their own works of poetry, the events take a lot of work and help students expand their interests.
Apathetic students don’t do these things.
Outside of my own organizations, I see other passionate students.
More than 50 students participated in last semester’s die-in protest about police brutality. Students Today, Leaders Forever is about giving up the opportunity for a wild and crazy spring break to take a trip across the country serving others. Members of greek houses raised more than $86,000 for philanthropic causes last year. And members of club sports teams are donating their time and money to play the sports they love and help others improve their own skills.
It may be a cliché phrase, but times really are changing. Whereas athletic attendance used to be the main indicator of passion, that’s not the case anymore.
We need to stop using the label of “apathetic” when referring to a group of extremely motivated and involved students. Honestly, I doubt Bradley students have ever been further from being apathetic than they are now.
Open your eyes, people. Look around, and actually recognize just how driven our student body is. It truly is amazing, and even more than that, it’s inspiring.