Welcome, welcome, to another year! We here in The Griffin’s Nest can’t let you escape our first issue without saying that we haven’t seen you since last year! On the off chance that your New Year’s resolution was to read this ye olde paper, then it’s less of a pun, so please take it sincerely. On the likelihood that you read us last semester, we understand any eye rolls that may occur at the utterance of such a fun pun.
The big two-oh-one-six bears quite the call to action for Canisius College in its entirety. We’ve got a class graduating in May, a statue to build, renovations in the Koessler Athletic Center to either love or hate, a new Arts & Science Dean, a selection process underway for the School of Business’ Dean, and, of course, a Mr. Canisius to be crowned and Griff Fest to be had. Yet, this paper wonders what marks this year as properly special?
Well, despite the seniors on staff saying that 2016’s biggest occasion will be graduation, it first means we’ve been on Main Street (or at least around it) for 146 years! That’s even older than Wegmans, and if we’re older than Wegmans, what else is there to compete with? And while 146 isn’t the biggest milestone (there’s no medal for four years below 150), we’ve got to remember the environment of higher education. Business Insider found that twenty 4-year institutions have closed in the last five years across the United States, not including universities that have merged in order to stay afloat financially. According to Bloomberg, that number has been rising exponentially each year since 2009. A Harvard Business School professor has even predicted that in the next five years, as many as half of the 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States may close or merge. This last statistic is by far the most intimidating to us here at The Griffin, but, unfortunately, colleges are in an unfortunate state across the country. Our administration, faculty, staff–and by extension, our students–are forced to come to terms with this as they provide our education and as we complete it.
This paper doesn’t always get along with administration, but it respects the place that they’re in, the environment in which they have to provide something that, at its root, is becoming more of a commercial service rather than a transformative one. The movement towards online higher education is common in higher education now, and Canisius President and former Griffin editor John J. Hurley even mentioned it in his convocation address last September. However, it is commendable that we won’t sacrifice our classroom-taught instruction entirely. Online courses provide a valuable option for students who may desire to work to pay for their education or who are doing internships, making a more flexible schedule. They’re even more accessible to graduate students.
Above all, we’re unwilling to sacrifice our identity as a Canisius community in order to give way to simply offering a diploma after paying your dues for four years. The Griff Center for Academic Engagement offers career services to alumni. Homecoming Weekend will persist, and the Undergraduate Student Association even states that the griffin statue will exist as a connecting legacy between students of all years. It, like our institution, is built to last, good for at least a hundred years.
- Big deal. It’s not the beginning of a decade, nor end of another. However, we as a society so often bracket years in groups of five (for example, from 2010-2015), and 2016 is the first in a new set of five. Theoretically, in that time, the freshmen now will have both completed college and will be in their first year as “real adults.” That’s scary if this paper has ever seen it. However, it’s an opportunity for us to consider where Canisius will be in five years. The obvious answer is here, on Main Street, in Buffalo, New York, ranked as both one of the best places to live and one of the best places to be a young professional. So we’re lucky, as an institution, and especially as students at this particular one, to be pretty confident in saying that our school won’t close before 2020. In the meantime, however, we’ve got to do what we can to keep showing why we’re different from those schools that don’t do as well. Here, we’d say it’s pretty easy. Go Griffs.