Letter from the Editor

Emily Passey

Lawrentians are dedicated people. I don’t know many Lawrentians (if any) who are involved in clubs, groups, sports, music or just classes, without an extreme measure of pride in the activity and dedication to doing well. What I’m saying is, we’re busy.
However, what saddens me is that many Lawrentians felt too busy to attend President Beck’s latest Matriculation Convocation.
As Professor Edmund Kern noted in his introduction of President Beck, a convocation is literally a calling together (from its Latin roots). Lawrentians are supposed to come together, especially to see our president speak. Dining services and the library are closed for a reason. Dr. David Mulford, ’59, who gave this year’s second, and more highly attended, convocation remarked that in his day it was required that students attend convos. Some convocations are more interesting than others (Salman Rushdie’s full-to-bursting talk last year) and the prospect of a convo can be a little scary (“OMG, can I afford to give up almost an hour of my life???!”). However, President Beck plays a huge role in our lives as Lawrentians, and we should support her in that role. She cannot help us change LU for the better without our involvement.
Ironically, Beck’s focus this year was on community and political activity. She pointed out that the number of voters amongst the eligible young adults in the U.S. is 18 percentage points lower than amongst the rest of the voting population. In view of the number of Lawrentians who attended the convo, I believe it.
I would argue that in order to become an active citizen of the world, as President Beck urged us to, we must start by becoming active citizens of Lawrence. Think about the phrase, Think Globally, Act Locally. Lawrentians are challenged daily to think globally, and a good amount of us are involved in volunteering in the Appleton community. However, for the time being, our definition of local includes the Lawrence campus. Acting locally should include supporting each other as Lawrentians, voting at Lawrence, being opinionated and effecting change AT Lawrence. Being politically active starts with becoming engaged as citizens; we are citizens of Lawrence right now, and we need to learn what that means.
President Beck said, of the theme for the school year, that “We need to say no to apathy, no to cynicism, [and yes to political activity]”. I would like to add that we also need to say yes to community pride and involvement: we must come together when we are called to.