The state of (the) Union?

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By Christopher Rush

Not much is known about the infamous Chester A. Arthur email that made its way out to the student body on April Fool’s Day. Its mysterious circulation around the Union campus has sparked rumors and whispers of the author’s identity and intentions.While no definite conclusion can be drawn, we do know that the author had a very critical view of the present state of Union and the student body.

While it would be nice to know who wrote the email, the real question is if there is any validity in the author’s points. I would argue no, with the only exception being that we won’t see any difference in the college when our tuition is raised next year.

The author continuously made jabs at the apparent wealth and lack of social skills in the undergraduate community, making clear his or her discontent.  He or she also argued that the student body is out of touch with the world and current events because we spend too much time partying and playing contact sports.

However, my experience has been different here. I am continuously amazed at the abilities and awareness that Union students possess. While it may appear that we are a bunch of spoiled brats who don’t concern ourselves with current events, that is—in my opinion—a false assessment.

College is a time of exploration of the world, yourself, and other people. It is an opportunity to open your mind to new ways of thinking and behaving. At its core, college is a period that prepares gifted young men and women for the rest of their lives.

At this point, all of us are too young and naïve to make an immediate dramatic impact on the protests in the Middle East, the struggles of the American working class, and the other problems that the world faces. However, that is the reason we go to Union—so we can prepare and arm ourselves with the proper tools to go fix and deal with these problems.

It’s true that some students are obsessed with their “Blueberries and Blackphones,” some occasionally over-indulge in alcohol on the weekends, and some enjoy the rush of playing contact sports.  But when you look at the current state of the world and the vast array of problems that our generation is going to face, I think we have the right to take part in a few shenanigans and “extracurricular activities” before we are handed the task of fixing the mess that seems to be unfolding.

 

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