What weighs us down?
In this community, we become elders so fast. Elders are so key in community. First years come in, it’s hard to get settled---you don’t understand a place until you’ve been there a while. People need time to feel part of a community. Kids get to third and fourth year and they want to direct things, they want to help, and they know how to… but then they’re gone, and younger people have to start over.
The university is the reason why 30 000 students are here. It’s their responsibility to reach out. With respect to admin, every student is less situated - financially, temporally, etc. And having that security in where you are, that’s huge in the ability to be a leader. Communities need elders to function. And I’m not gonna use that word to describe the admin, because I don’t feel they fulfil that role, but they are the ones who are supposed to be most familiar with this place and these people. If they don’t see themselves as the central power, if they see themselves are unconnected to everything here, then they’re not seeing. You have to do a lot of the reaching to people to bring them in, and expecting a transient population to do your work for you in this is nothing less than a shirking of responsibility.
Communities are amazing, strong, when we have ones that mean something to us. I mean, this university’s culture doesn’t remember why community exists. They prioritize independent success, like somehow that will create community? There’s this super flawed view of how community is constructed: it’s as if you must be competitive to be individually successful, and once we get everyone to that point, we’ll get together again.