Future of Simpson is still strong


by Joe Sorenson

The beginning of the semester started with bad news. Ten faculty and staff positions were cut for the 2012-2013 academic year.

I am sure everyone on campus was affected, in some way, by these cuts, either directly or indirectly. People that played an important role in our Simpson Community filled these positions.

Our sense of community at Simpson is one of the greatest benefits of attending this college. The relationships we learn to build and sustain in the classroom, theatre, athletic field, residence halls and around campus are some of the most important lessons we learn as students.

We also learn a strong sense of belonging, and for me, personally, that’s what hurts most about the positions cuts. Being part of such a strong community means seeing people leave is even more of a grind.

I am here to tell you though that even with the bump in the road this year, the Simpson community is still very strong. Here are some facts that make us one of the most competitive institutions in the region.

Simpson will offer to high school students who qualify, the opportunity to graduate with a Simpson degree in three years. We have teamed up with Allen College to offer a nursing program, and will be working on other healthcare programs in various departments.

Simpson will also roll out a guaranteed internship program next year that will make us even more competitive in the job market. This year, we unveiled a magnificent addition to the Blank Performing Arts Center and installed leading edge field turf and track surface.

Next year, students will walk into a new campus center that will be double the size of our previous one, and the building looks amazing.

The strength of the Simpson community is not just fancy buildings or complicated programs. Strength comes in the number and quality of students as well.

We all know our enrollment was down this year, but in one year’s time the Simpson community has made significant improvement. 32 new students enrolled to Simpson for the spring semester, 15 students above the five-year average.

Our retention rate in the first-year class is 96 percent, just a few percentage points off an all-time high. Not to mention Simpson has increased the number of applications coming in by 28 percent from this time last year.

All of this is happening right now at Simpson because of all the efforts being made by everyone in the Simpson community. Every person has a role in the Simpson community, and every person belongs to the Simpson community.

We are part of a vibrant college that has an obligation to look toward the future. Just because administration has to look toward the future, doesn’t mean they aren’t still focused on the here and now.

I hope these examples of all the great things going on at Simpson help us realize that we are part of a strong Simpson community. There are so many more examples of positive work being done by students, faculty, staff and administration to add to the list.

There are too many great things happening in our community to let a few bumps road slow us down.

Joe Sorenson is a senior majoring in economics and finance. He is the Simpson College Student Body President and an intern at the Des Moines Downtown Chamber.