The University is What You Make it

Hope Brusstar

When we go to a party, the fancier we dress, the better the party is. The more we’ve prepared ourselves for the occasion, the more we’ve thought about our presentation upon entering the host’s venue, the more important the party is to us. In the same way, the more we think about and care for our university, the more important it is to us and the better it becomes overall.
No organization thrives unless its constituents are ready, willing and genuinely interested in taking part. For the United States, that meant the originating thirteen colonies only stitched themselves together because they wanted to. In general, it means a group of people got together to start something because they thought it was a good idea. And for a university, this means that students and faculty are ready and willing to work to make the university what it has the potential to be.
So for UNO, that means helping the campus beautification along by picking up stray pieces of trash we happen to pass by, and at the very least taking care to dispose of our own properly.
In the same vein, leaving classrooms and restrooms behind us looking either the same as we found them or better is a great way to show respect for our university.
We can make a big impact just by treating our surroundings better!

Having a good university is not as simple as having students who make good grades. As students, we have to communicate with each other. Making friends with other students and finding out more about what happens on campus is a great way to become more interested in our university and to understand what makes it tick. After all, some frustrations can be eased when we know why a problem is occurring. And when we know how our university works and communicates amongst its departments, we can begin to be a part of the solution. Word of mouth – or communication via the UNO Social app – can be a great way to prevent a lot of others from going through the same trouble a single student had, or to help other students experience the same success or fun opportunity that one lucky student had. If students are letting each other know where to find what they need on campus because they already went through the same situation, or giving each other heads-ups about certain classes and teachers, the student experience at this university might run a lot more smoothly.

This semester, let’s begin a tradition of working together. It doesn’t matter how well-funded a school is; if no one cares about it – not the students and not the faculty – then then who will make sure it operates well? Who will tend to its needs?
When you walk around campus, think about why you’re there. What brought you to the University of New Orleans? What keeps you coming every day? Do you feel that you’re only there because you have to be, or because you want to be?
To summon the wording of president John F. Kennedy, ask not what your university can do for you, but what you can do for your university. What can you do to help it be more of what it needs to be? Even if you’re not the one who needs to make those things happen, can you tell people whose job it is to make those things happen?

Not to sound corny, but every step we take to improve where we are is a step to a better future. If every student every year does a small favor for the university to make it better a place, the university will thrive, and in years be something every student can be proud of.