Editorial: College students don’t like change, and it shows

We’re midway through the semester here at Canisius, and it seems that many changes have taken hold on campus. Freshmen have settled in, rampant Frisch fire alarms and all. Sophomores have ceased calling themselves “freshmen,” juniors “sophomores,” and many seniors have found senioritis to be as contagious as the flu this season. At the same time, however, some students haven’t embraced the on-campus changes over the past two years, and this paper is curious as to why. Are college students really so stuck in their ways or are we experiencing a slump in engagement, one that is no fault of the College’s?

The words “Campus Programming and Leadership Development” are words that still echo through the campus, even though the office was dissolved over a year ago, and Student Life, the Student Programming Board, and even the Undergraduate Student Association rose to pick up the slack as the Office of Event Services took hold of CPLD’s old digs in the lower level of the Student Center.
The Canisius website, though promised an overhaul, still sits in resignation to the tab dedicated to the old office, an almost plaque honoring Connie Pileri and Brian Smith’s brainchild. Many of those students who know that CPLD no longer exists still confuse the activity of Student Life with that of the Student Programming Board. A number stop by the programming epicenter, thinking that they’ve found the conjoined residence life/club hub combo, only to be directed by the programmers to Dugan Hall, a short walk down the tunnel. This paper has jokingly considered suggesting that the Undergraduate Student Association lessen this burden by using some of the spare contingency funds to change the golden “Residence Life” on the wall to a large “This is the place that you’re looking for sign,” complementing the office’s attempts at recognition made manifest through paper “OFFICE OF STUDENT LIFE” signs in the window.

Many older students are deterred by the big blue wall in the basement of Old Main, but others have found haven in the Griff Center for Academic Engagement, Annie Dobies’ third office in the past three years. This paper is thankful that she’s at least had time for the paint to dry before her hopefully unlikely next move. The Griff Center has strived to combine the academic and student affairs necessities, painting the piecemeal contraption blue and calling the little guy who forms the ‘i’ “Griff,” but their success has been incredible over the past two years, reflecting truly on Canisius President and former Griffin editor John J. Hurley’s call for a “student-centered” institution. If any change has really been embraced by the campus, it is the Griff Center, likely because of the widespread marketing that the office has done to share its mission on campus and through its necessary inclusion in the Accessibility section of most faculty members’ syllabi.

This paper wonders if the Griff Center has cracked the equation on how to share information on changes on campus with its students. Is marketing the tool? Should faculty members be responsible for the spreading of information to students via syllabi? This paper doubts the College could cover the cost if all changes made to the campus were listed because printing alone would deter the completion of Science Hall another several years. Thus, does the onus fall onto students to figure out these changes to their collegiate home on their own? It’s a difficult problem to solve, given that we ourselves are temporary within the College’s 145 year history. Many students aren’t even aware that the Old Quad is the area located where Churchill Tower stands, preventing any attempts at tanning in the Old Quad (perhaps that was sole reason that the current quad was built because we clearly get so much sun in Buffalo). Others likely don’t know that the rector of Loyola Hall changed over the summer, despite the fact that the Jesuits are a unique fixture of our Jesuit education (for obvious reasons), and their presence on campus is a huge part of our tradition. The majority of former Griffin editor and Canisius President John J. Hurley’s predecessors were, in fact, Jesuits, another fun fact that the greater student body is lacking.

All offices on campus have made a valiant effort to engage students, from Student Life’s Thursdays in the Quad/at Iggy’s (though this paper calls for more free food instead of 50 percent off coupons) to the Griff Center’s Griff 101 program, which, despite its flaws, has a good goal in mind. Even Chartwells has tried to enthrall students with promises of special menus and milkshakes on Sundays at Iggy’s for the Bills game. This paper would even love to see more students engaged with it (wink, wink, nudge nudge), but freshman looking to get involved are not flooding the tunnels, nor are upperclassmen who have moved either into Village or Delavan or off-campus entirely. Some don’t even step foot into the tunnels. Is it because the workload of the average college student has increased or because the ‘Netflix and Chill’ paradigm is more attractive? (It is pretty attractive).

Many of the Orientation Leaders insisted that the Class of 2019 was one of the best in the past few years, expecting them to be chomping at the bit for club involvement, but it doesn’t necessarily seem the case. We’re midway through the semester, and only a few brave freshman have plunged into student involvement. Likewise, few seniors are to be found, holed up either studying for the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, or whatever other acronym has chosen to terrorize the near-alums or preparing to enter the “real world,” away from crazy weekends and homework. We all look a bit more tired, and we’re all “busy,” in one way or another, with all of our different things.

Getting involved is a choice. Some people choose work, others Netflix. Some want to focus on grades, and others attempt to balance all of the above. To each his or her own, but perhaps try figuring out what’s happening on campus, which offices have moved, just so that, if you need anything, you know where to go, and sometimes, the different offices will have some quick tips to save you money.

Even if that’s reading a college newspaper every Friday morning, but hey, maybe that’s just us. We’re a lot better than studying for midterms.

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