Is our loyalty lacking?

by The Simpsonian Editors

While this year’s Liberal Arts Seminar responses are overall positive, one item is quite alarming: first year students are feeling less connection to the Simpson community. Loyalty is decreasing.

This may be disheartening, but it is to be expected. What else could explain student senators who are less than enthused, bleachers that are barren at home sporting events, and parking lots that are the only thing more vacant on weekends than CAB events? A lack of loyalty, connection, and responsibility to the community certainly must have some correlation.

While, academically, freshmen reported well-formed bonds with advisors, socially, students are not finding their niche.

Sure, the goal of any academic institution is to, first and foremost, provide an education. However, community is necessary for retention, enrollment, and the formation of productive members of society.

Furthermore, a lack of community affects the classroom. An empty campus with only a few engaged students does not provide a climate that is conducive to academia. In fact, it stifles it.

So, how can we make students feel more included in campus culture? Well, first we must embrace the present culture. “What culture?” you ask. That looming culture of fine arts, athletic, and organizational events that needs to be pulled together to form something larger and more cohesive.

While the administration is attempting to design a culture that will rival that of a Disney theme park, active students across campus are realizing that there is already a culture existing in the periphery.

The consolidation of activist groups to form PAC, SIFE’s involvement with the square in Indianola, and support for events like LGBTQA’s drag show are all evidence of this elusive but tangible culture.

So, even though we are in Iowa, the answer to the question of community at Simpson is not, “If you build it, it will come,” but rather, “If you nourish it, it will thrive.”